Not sure what to wear with what? Learn about standing back and drinking tea!

Youtube Sewing Quarter 26th November 2018, Freeview  Channel 73 at 10.05-11.00  & 12.05-13.00

We all like different colours for different reasons

Loving the chat about colour on Freeview Channel 73 Sewing Quarter.

Some things I took from the TV program

Brandon Mably has run Kaffe Fassett studio for a few years and he also collaborates with Philip Jacob so they end up with a nice mix up of three different styles. What they agree on is ‘You may not like what you have created but someone will’.

Brandon was talking about his life and looked at the brand new Kaffe fabric collection. Brandon talked about colour ’popping out’ at you. When you are designing he said and showed how a wall of grey flannel fabric allows you to stand back and see how things come together. Leave yourself open to the unexpected. The grey flannel wall is great for designing quilts. When Brendon talked about colour he said ‘We all like colour for different reasons’. Every colour is affected by the colour next to it. This cannot all be decided in your mind’s eye. Place your quilting pieces together on the flannel then go and make a cup of tea. The fresh eye when you come back again will help you to see what works and what does not work. Giving yourself a break is a great idea for so many things when you get stuck.

Brandon went on to say ’We all respond to colour individually, it is like a natural drug, you respond and feel it. You never stop learning about colour’. Every time Kaffe and Brandon work with colour they do not know what is going to work together. He said ‘we need to stand back, we all look better from a distance, up close you look at the little imperfections’. Think about when you admire great works of art in great galleries, they are huge rooms so you can stand back and admire the art. When designing a quilt it is a good idea to not restrict yourself, give yourself lots of options. I feel this idea can be used when trying to put outfits together in your wardrobe. Hang out a selection of clothes and accessories which you might like to wear. Then next morning, or later after a break,  you can look again and anything that stands out may need switching to your alternative options.

Brandon said they find the right location and light to take pictures for the books they are working on then they go and make the quilts!

Brandon found it difficult getting people past their prejudice about colour and size of print so using the grey flannel board you can create something completely,.

Help yourself to get that little bit of special happening.

Play with colour it can just lift you.

Posies, Poems and Parties

I have enjoyed past few months speaking on varies topics for special parties and monthly meetings in Sutton, Pulham Market, Acle, Sandringham and Surlingham.

I have been given lovely flowers, posies and always a warm welcome. Even a poem has been written for me by Sally Hudson.

Ode to a lipstick at Sandringham WI

I’ve tried a lot of lipsticks

But it really isn’t fair,

The wind blows right across my face

And the lippy’s stuck to my hair.

I choose with care the dress I wear

I want to look a ‘Chick’,

But checking in the bedroom mirror –

There is no right shade stick!

I must be a nervous gal,

I put my lipstick on…

But then I have a teensy drink –

And the lippy’s sort of gone’.

I either left it on the glass

Or smeared it on my face,

Please, Brenda, tell me what to do

To solve my lipstick case!

A big thank you to Sally. Thank you also to members of the Women’s Institute for the help and welcome  I receive. I hope everyone has a great summer

Use 2 tablespoons of Suntan lotion for your whole body in a swimming costume!

Channel 5 Shop Smart 23rd May 2019 and Daily Mail Saturday 1st June 2019 states latest NHS guildlines – we need to use 2 tablespoons if you’re covering your entire body while wearing a swimming costume ‘. If just covering our head arms and neck then 2 teaspoons is enough.

Sunscreen needs to be reapplied liberally and frequently to get the right amount of protection. The higher the number should give greater protection.

Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed skin, including the face, neck and ears – and head if you have thinning or no hair – but a wide-brimmed hat is better.

The shop smart program had a very good clip to show how some people were not applying sunscreen all over the face.

A consumer survey for the Channel 5 Shop Smart: Save Money compared the sunscreen based on several factors, starting with their star rating. Sunscreen can be rated out of five stars, with five meaning ‘ultra’ – the best level of protection there is. The show looked into six sunscreens, all with an SPF – Sun Protection Factor – of 30. They compared six brands: Nivea Sun, Garnier Ambre Solaire, Piz Buin, Boots, Superdrug and Aldi. It was found that the discount sunscreen from Aldi protects much better against UVAs (ultraviolet A-rays) than products from Nivea or Garnier, and for less than half of their price.

The TV show also mentioned PizBuin was the first company to investigate how to stop getting sunburnt when climbing a mountain!!

It was reported that when it comes to protecting your skin in the sun, many consumers are inclined to turn to the big brands to make sure they’re choosing a reliable products.

So take care in the sun. Apply 30 minutes before going outside and repeat regularly.

Stay safe!

Are acids the secret to youthful skin?

By Sunday Times Beauty Editor Sarah Jossel (Shown on ‘This Morning’ ITV  12:06 – 8 Mar 2019).

These days you can barely talk about skincare for five minutes without acids being mentioned. Hyaluronic, glycolic, salicylic – it feels like there’s an infinite number of different acids for your skin and it can feel hard to know which you should use.

Hard working exfoliators much better than gritty skin scrubs as many of them damage the skin.

If using an acid you must start using a SPF. You should be doing it anyway but skin becomes a little bit more sensitive to sun after using acids.

Salicylic acid – one such acid is ‘BHA oil’ which is soluble and can really get into the pores, great for blemish prone acne prone skin. Unblocks pores so brilliant for blackheads.

If you are not sure about using acids it is a good idea to start with a cleanser containing acid as you will wash it off.  You can use every night, leave it on for 3 minutes, massage it in like a wash and it very softly acts on dry cells.

Salicylic acid – ‘Some of the products are tingly’

Paula’s Choice 2% ‘BHA ‘ is a leave on lotion. Put it onto a pad and put it where you get where you get dryness and under the skin bumps.  Blemishes on your chest or on your back this is a brilliant body spray.  Murad Clarifying Spray is great product. Use it when you jump out of the shower this unclogs any blemishes,

Lactic Acid is great for dry and dehydrated skin as it is hydrating and exfoliating at the same time. ‘Inkey List Lactic Acid’ you put on a pad at night (it is a serum). You leave it on. Once you have cleansed your skin put a few little drops on a pad and put it onto your skin.

With any acid start slow once a week and build up.

‘Alex Steinherr Primark Pollution Solution Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads’ -acid peel pads ­- They are great if you are on the go as they are ready for you to use. Start slow and build up.

Then use your moisturiser.

Glycolic acid –It is the smallest molecule so it really will penetrate the skin so start slowly with this but when you really get going it’s the key to a bright glowing complexion. So if your skin is dull get going with this. ‘Alpha-H Liquid Gold’ pop it onto a pad your weekly treat. Twice a weekly after your cleanser put it on leave it settle then put moisturiser as it breaks down the dead skin cells. A new way to think about exfoliators by ‘B. Revealed Glycolic Cleanser’ and if you are nervous you can just wash it off.

Read very carefully about the product and how to use them.  Start very slowly 2 drops put it on your skin see how it goes. Eventually you may be able to use it every day if your skin can tolerate it.

Azelaic acid

The Ordinary Azaelic Acid has had less press but brilliant for post acne scarring uneven skin tone. You use the same principle use your cleanser put the acid on then the moisturiser

Ones quoted here are the ones everyone is raving about.

Hyaluronic acid

Vichy mineral 89 hyaluronic acid. This is the ultimate in skin hydration holds onto the moisturiser. Apply and then moisturise afterwards.

Acid products featured by Sarah

Salicylic acid

Super Facialist Salicylic Acid Anti Blemish cleansing wash

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Lotion

Murad Clarifying Body Spray

Lactic acid

Inkey List Lactic Acid

Alex Steinherr Primark Pollution Solution Dual Texture Exfoliating Pads

Glycolic acid

Alpha-H Liquid Gold

  1. Revealed Glycolic Cleanser

Azelaic acid

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid

Hyaluronic acid

Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Face

Valuable tips / suggestions to brides from previous brides

These were collected at a wedding show from previous brides. They were happy to pass on tips to help make your  day perfect. They should know as they have been through it themselves.

‘‘Someone keeps their phone on!’‘
One wedding the bride’s car had broken down and she could not tell anyone as everyone had turned their phones off.

‘‘Don’t keep checking the weather forecast, it will not change’‘
British weather can change and often the weather forecast is not right. All you can hope for is good weather but have a plan ‘B’ just in case. You will still get amazing photos, they might just have to be taken inside.

‘‘Let someone else organise it!’‘
It can be a stressful day, I remember a bride who was dyslexic she coped by having multiple spreadsheets.

‘‘Lots of support’‘
From everyone

‘‘Make sure everyone knows what they are doing’‘
It is the bride’s day and everyone is out to help make the day really special. It is the one day where everyone will be on her side.

‘‘No children’‘
This is a very difficult one especially where cost is involved. It is difficult if you want one child as a bridesmaid or page boy and not the other young child in the same family. Sounds amazing but I would say both have to be included.  No children can save you money as well.

‘‘Keep the little ones entertained with a sweetie / play area’‘
There are some great large garden games for adults as well

‘‘Planning and organising but relax and enjoy’‘
Something worth remembering but often not easy to do.

‘‘Organised & relaxing & patience’‘
Wise words


‘‘Be well organised, it will help you feel less stressed!’‘

‘‘Get your maid of honour to organise it’‘
Not sure if this meant the wedding or just the hen night. This totally depends on how good your maid of honour is and the trust you have in her.

‘‘Purchase wedding insurance – especially if you are having a marquee’‘
I am sure there is a story behind this one.

To end with

‘‘Marry the perfect man’‘ – Nothing to add here!

‘‘Whatever happens keep smiling’‘
When I got married the vicar got the words wrong. It made everyone laugh and made it more memorable.

Whatever happens it will be a fantastic day.

Brenda x

Recycling – fantastic checks in a Charity Shop!

Recycling at its very best. Charity shops have some fantastic bargains please check them out,

  • Find the shops that are good for you. Some have new ex- factory clothing in.
  • Get to know the people running the shop as they can keep an eye open for the things you might like.
  • The washing instructions. Dry cleaning could cost you a lot of extra money. I have only been caught out once by giving it a gentle wash. They were beautiful evening trousers!
  • Make sure all the buttons are in place.
  • Make sure zips work smoothly.
  • Check that seams are all still intact.
  • Try it on if you can. Does it fit you? If not is it possible to alter it easily and it still looks good?
  • Sometimes you can change a garment by simply turning a dress into a top and skirt or add some details like buttons / a belt etc. Think outside the box.
  • Does it go with anything you have in your wardrobe now to make it even more wearable?
  • Some charity shops even let you return items now.
  • Do you really want the garment or are you buying it because it’s a bargain? Remember cost per wear. Divide the number of times you are likely to wear it by the amount it cost = cost per wear. A bargain is only a bargain if you wear it!
    • The most important thing is to have fun, be unique and stand out for the right reason.                            Brenda x

supermarket clothing is worth checking for its quality & can save you money

Supermarket clothing is worth checking out as lots of good value and can save you money. I have always thought you could get some great basics from the supermarkets. If you have time it is worth comparing similar items to get the best.

I enjoyed ‘Shop well for less’ Television program on BBC1 Wednesday evening 5/9/18 ( Series 2 episode 3, link to the program is , In this episode the couple had always bought brand named clothes and were looking to save money.

The above episode they took 4 very similar men’s jackets. One was a Ted Baker, another Asda also Next  and  ASOS on models  into a shopping centre and asked the passing public which one they thought was the most expensive and which was the cheapest. The Next jacket at £160 came first was the best quality and style but Asda at £35 came close second.  Then ASOS followed by Ted Bakers which came last.

A previous week they had did a similar comparison with 4 men’s polo shirts in the street. There was not a clear winner!

This episode the man did spend £3000 on his watch that he did not even use to find out the time. He was considering an upgrade to £8000 but at the end of the program he had found suitable watches for much less!

So this episode showed branded most expensive items do not always mean the best. Next time you do your shopping in the supermarket have a quick look at clothing available you might be surprised.

If you can be open minded to changing your shopping habits.

There is so much clothing going into landfill. If you look around everyone is different, wearing different clothes. There is a huge choice think about what you already have in your wardrobe. Do you really love the new item of clothing? Will it fit in with what you already have. If you do not love it leave it!

Women created a support group called Panache dealing with hair loss

A group of inspirational ladies – aged between 11 and 74 appeared on TV. They proudly have called the group ‘Panache’, which helps people to feel comfortable after losing their locks. They support each other and embraced their hair loss. After sharing their individual experiences of dealing with hair loss, the women took their wigs off to reveal their hair loss for all to see, and some got visibly emotional when quizzed by Eamonn Holmes . Fans were quick to congratulate them on social media, that they looked “fantastic” and commending them for making such a bold move.

While one added: “#ThisMorning those women look beautiful with or without their wigs. Bold,brave and beautiful women”.

Another said : “Well done to the beautiful ladies on #ThisMorning you are all stunning with or without your wigs #baldisbeautiful,”




Could you manage to pack for a holiday in hand luggage size case?

How to pack and


What to pick to pack!

A great article in the ‘Daily Mail’ I found on facebook on ‘How to pack a suitcase’. A former Bond Girl showed how to put 130 items into a hand luggage size case!

She uses elastic bands, zip lock bags and even rolls her clothes to maximise the space in her bag. Lightweight clothing is advised.  If you wish to look at how she does it –

I always have everything at least washed so I can make up my mind later.

I lay out what I believe need. It has been suggested to pack and repack making sure you only repack with the essentials.

Check that all events like swimming / walking or hiking up hills. Smart or smart casual or and relaxed clothing. An article of rainwear (some people like umbrellas instead) or even warmer clothing for colder holidays.  A sarong has a multitude of uses.

Toiletries she packed included a travel size shampoo, conditioner, face wash, toothpaste & too brush , deodorant ,conditioner, sunscreen, comb. Mosquito repellent might not always be wanted. I would also include moisturizer for the face. Sunscreen usually protects only and does not moisturize. Also I would take after-sun which could double up as a body lotion. Cotton wool balls cotton buds is worth squeezing in. Make-up remover especially if waterproof mascara. A good alternative is to have your eyelashes dyed!

Some people have to have hair straighteners remember the adapter if going abroad.

Make-up bag –


Eyeliner pencil

Face powder (this could be a bronzing powder instead)

Eyeshadow palette – I have 4 replaceable eye shadows when I travel in a small palette– a cool grey eyeshadow, a cool brown , white sparkle one and a base beige

I would only take 1 lipstick and a gloss not 2 lipsticks. Lipstick can be used as a blusher.

A foundation (I may take a light foundation and a darker one, if you are going to a sunny destination to mix as the holiday progress’s).

Several earrings as they are so small and light. Necklaces, one could be worn to traveling.  I am not a great bracelet fan, lots of people are.



Happy holiday xx


Posies, Poems and Parties

I have enjoyed past few months speaking on varies topics for special parties and monthly meetings in Sutton, Pulham Market, Acle, Sandringham and Surlingham. I have been given lovely flowers, posies and always a warm welcome. Even a poem has been written for me by...

Are acids the secret to youthful skin?

By Sunday Times Beauty Editor Sarah Jossel (Shown on 'This Morning' ITV  12:06 - 8 Mar 2019). These days you can barely talk about skincare for five minutes without acids being mentioned. Hyaluronic, glycolic, salicylic – it feels like there's an infinite number of...

Posies, Poems and Parties

I have enjoyed past few months speaking on varies topics for special parties and monthly meetings in Sutton, Pulham Market, Acle, Sandringham and Surlingham. I have been given lovely flowers, posies and always a warm welcome. Even a poem has been written for me by...

Are acids the secret to youthful skin?

By Sunday Times Beauty Editor Sarah Jossel (Shown on 'This Morning' ITV  12:06 - 8 Mar 2019). These days you can barely talk about skincare for five minutes without acids being mentioned. Hyaluronic, glycolic, salicylic – it feels like there's an infinite number of...