Featured, Inspired, Update


This week I spent 3 days down in London training on anew exciting tool we’re implementing at work. Of course, when training finished at 5pm it was then my time to hit as many shops as possible before they close!

Just round the corner from where I was staying was Morplan – a shop I’ve order online from before. Great for all your sewing equipment like Patternmasters and Set Squares. They sell the most beautiful dressmakers mannequins I can find in the UK. But at £700 for a K&L, I just took away a photograph instead!

I then ran down Oxford St to catch 10 minutes of MacCullock & Wallis. Was a bit disappointed as I was greeted with a moody voice saying “we’re closing, you’ll have to be quick” and I thought “yeah I know…I’m out of breath from running here and theres 15 minutes of shopping time left!” But anyway,  the shop was beautiful and you could easily spend hours mooching through the 2 floors.


On my second erectile dysfunction night I visited Liberty which is just beautiful…the pictures speak for themselves -







I’ve now got my eye on some stunning John Paul Gaultier fabric for my living room…how nice is this…!


I love shopping in the designer and vintage sections as you can pick apart unusual tailoring and learn lots. The ball gowns as SO heavy and the blue Chanel dress was effortlessly constructed.


Stella McCartney pleats and Carven dresses are on my imaginary shopping list.


And finally I fell in love with an Urban Outfitters coat and floaty vintage dress in Top Shop. Could have spent a LOT of money but remained very sensible.


It was great to get all inspired before my Oscar dress challenge this weekend.

I’ve set myself a task to watch the Oscars and then work through the night and the next day to complete a version of one of the most photographed dresses. Wish me luck! :)

Or get in touch if you’re doing the same thing :)

Nicole @ beaufrog


purple frizz

Central heating, split ends, dark mornings, run down, dizzle and wind.

Poor hair. It goes through a lot. By the end of Feb we end up looking like this!

I’m very conscious, maybe more so than average, of keeping my hair in tact – probably because of the amount of heat I put it under.

I’m unable to put those irons away and always look to a product for a miracle cure that will stop it all breaking away when I’m an older lady.

This year I’ve decided to (try and) look for other alternative hairstyles that avoid straighteners. I rely far too heavily on them and now that the hair is long, I want to keep it long and in condish!

So here are some alternatives that I’ve been trying premier-pharmacy.com out. (I did want to use my own photographs but it was quite hard to angle the camera!)

The Bun

tuck it in bun

The Top Knot

top knot hair

The Donut



sideways pleat




And best of all…

Natural Curls

Undo any of these hair styles and get beautiful hair for day number 2.

natural curls


Ahh and my trusted friend Frizz-Ease serum and a really good deep conditioner. I’ve been using John Freda recently (the full repair one in the red tube) and it smells gorge.

Hope this helps you out too when you’re in a winter hair rut and your only turn is the straighteners – there are other options :)


Image credits – purple frizz : tucked bun : top knot : donut : pleats : headband : headscarf : natural curls

Plus more images on my pinterest board

Nicole @ beaufrog



I started setting some goals a while back and I thought I’d dig them out and freshen them up a bit for January. These are the main 5 to focus on…

1. Learn (properly) the construction clothes

Pattern Folder

I enrolled on a 36 week course at Wigan and Leigh College and I’m a third of the way to becoming a qualified pattern drafter. How about that!

It’s not cheap but it was a good move. Our tutor Bernie has been in industry for a lifetime and each week I come away with an invaluable nugget of information.

I’m now confident in constructing and adapting patterns from blocks. Soon we’ll be creating blocks based on our own measurements and constructing garments from them.

I went into the class with quite a bit of knowledge already and even though everyone is at different levels, it still challenges and me and makes me feel a bit nervous about ‘keeping up’. Love it. Now I need to make sure I put all that learning into practise.

Anyone thinking about doing something similar – go for it!

2. Watch less TV

I’m rocking this one so far – hence this post being written!

These are just some of the series that I’ve watched in their entirety…at least twice -
Friends, Scrubs, Mythbusters, Judge Judy, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Bob Ross, Project Runway…


As much as I love them, how many wasted hours is that? Well, maybe not on the last two – both educational.

Then we’ve got your Downton Abbey, X Factor and Buzzcock type shows. And films! So many films! Just lucky theres no soaps on top of that list.

So, I’m choosing to be wiser with my free time and making sure it’s a little more productive rather than passive. So far this week I’ve switched on the DAB radio, made a blouse and started a dress commission, alongside being back at work – all by minimising the crap antidepressants tele. Let’s see if it sticks…

3. No more shop bought cards

*gags* Whoops nearly hurled again at the thought of standing in Asda fighting to get to the xmas cards to find all thats left are “Forever Friends Bears” or “To my Mummy/Daddy/Grandma” cards. No more! It’s Mum/Dad/Nan alright!
christmas cardWhy? It’s ugly!

So, I’ve been spending some time (and a bit too much money) at Paperchase investing in bits and bats for homemade cards. After making personalised gift tags at Christmas, I realised it was actually a lot of fun and was nice therapy against the christmas panic. So for 2013, card aisles are banned :)

4. Share more on this blog

There are so many projects going on at any one time but I rarely get around to sharing them on here. Either through time or self doubt (who’d want to read that)(the photos are rubbish)(it’s not finished yet) many many projects are lost in iPhoto waiting for a rainy day. So my goal is to be less of a perfectionist and just share! There’s nothing more lovely than when someone comments or learns from what you’ve done. My rubbish pleating board video has had 9k views (to date) and has so many lovely comments – yet I cringe at the thought of people watching it. Stop being picky and just do it!

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” – Mark Twain

5. The biggy – make an Oscars dress
I’ve booked 2 days holidays from work to make an Oscars dress in February. It’s something that every year I regret not doing. This time = committed! More on this closer to the date…

Oscar dresses


If anyone is up for staying up all night and making an Oscar dress too – get in touch!

I’ve loved reading everyone else’s resolutions over the past week, are we all going to stick to them?

Christmas Decorations, Update

the ritz

I visited London a couple of weeks ago and seems like Christmas Eve is probably a nice day to share some festive photographs from that trip.

I caught the decorations being prepared for The Ritz and had to stop by Liberties to see what they’d gone for this year. Beautiful as always.


And here’s some pictures from the last couple of days. A special bauble for our tree from my mum (can’t believe we’ve lived in our home for 1 year now!) and some online pharmacy gift tags for the christmas presents. Every night I’ve been doodling penguins, or snowmen, or trees and I hope they bring a smile when the family receive them tomorrow :)

special bauble Gift tag Gift tag Gift tag

Only a couple of hours left until the big day, and I’d like to wish everyone a lovely Christmas. Thank you to all the readers that have made writing this blog so enjoyable in 2012 and here’s to a new year! 2013 will be a big one!

Nicole @ beaufrog



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