Sunday, 29 August 2010

Outdoor Photo Session

The weather was lovely, bright and warm on friday so I took advantage and decided to photograph some of my brand new products outdoors for Altered Chic. I love taking photos with interesting backdrops. I thought I'd share this little peek into one of our new products - available soon!

The cats weren't being too helpful though. They kept interupting my photo shoot and walking into the shots. I decided to give them a bit of what they wanted (plus here's another sneaky peek)...

Lisa x

Friday, 27 August 2010

Pretty Packaging

I came across this lady's pretty blog today and her post about her packaging. I've been thinking about making my shop packaging prettier recently.

It was covered as part of the Indie Biz class I was part of earlier this year but I've not had chance to go back and look at it since. I'm now collecting inspiration for my packaging.

At the moment all my products are wrapped in tissue paper, then either wrapped in bubble wrap or put in a box and then covered with brown parcel paper with the address handwritten on the front.

Ideas I've found to make prettier packaging:
- ribbon or twine
- thank you note
- postcard
- little free gift
- pin badge

I'm going to continue collecting ideas and photos and then decide which options work best for my little shop. If you have any ideas - let me know!

Lisa x

Monday, 23 August 2010

A new look...

Our new website is taking alot more work than we originally thought to get everything working the way we want it to. So in the meantime, I've given Altered Chic's current website a new look with our prettier branding.

I'm also working hard getting ready to add lots more products to the website as well as designing and making brand new Halloween and Christmas products. I'll be showing sneaks over the coming weeks of these brand new products!

For now, go over and take a proper look at my pretty new look shop.

Lisa x

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


"What keeps me going is goals." - Mahummaad Ali

I saw this quote today and began thinking again about what I want from life. I've been doing alot of thinking about the future recently. I also read this post on Elsie's blog about goals for the rest of this year and decided it is exactly what I need right now.

Here are my 4 simple goals...

1. Reguarly spend more time creating just for me. Iim always making things for my business or because there's a birthday or other occasion. I love scrapbooking and I'm now trying to learn to crochet. I want to put more effort into making time for this in my life. 2. Keep a tidier and more organised home. Our home still needs lots of finishing touches - especially to get it more organised. I want to make a huge effort to get these completed to make our lives so much easier and less stressful. 3. Make more time for my camera. (And keep the batteries charged!) I do take my camera with me when we go out somewhere new, but I want to make more of an effort to photograph my daily life, record the everyday important things, the little things - not just the big things. 4. Begin my journal. I used to journal as a teenger almost every day for about 2 years. I now want to be able to use my journal to record my feelings and thoughts. And just things we've done, memories we have. I'll then be able to use it as a place to reference for my scrapbooking. Making journalling so much easier.

What are your 4 simple goals?

Lisa x

Monday, 16 August 2010

Greek Stifado

This is one of my favourite meals and I thought I'd share it with you. We made this at the weekend with our home-grown shallots.

Ingredients (for 2 people):
400g Stewing beef
Plain flour
Salt & Pepper
10 Shallots
2 Cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Small bottle of red wine
2 tbsp Red wine vinegar
Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Mixed spice
Tin of Chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Tomato puree
200ml Beef stock

To make the Stifado:
1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly dust the stewing beef pieces in the flour mixture.
2. Fry the beef until sealed and place to one side. Pre-heat your oven to 160 deg C.
3. Add more oil to the pan and try the shallots gently until slightly browned and add the garlic.
4. Pour in the red wine. Add the cinnamon stick & mixed spice and heat until hot but not boiling.
5. Add the beef stock, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes and heat until it begins to boil.
6. Add the contents of the pan and your beef to a casserole dish.
5. Cover and cook for around 3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. The beef should be really tender and the sauce should be nice and thick.
6. Serve with rice and bread.

Lisa x

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Listening to...

Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars

A song really close to my heart right now...

Lisa x

Monday, 9 August 2010

Growing in our garden...

We've been busy bees this year in our garden. We have lots of vegetables and some fruit. Some is doing really well, some not so well. Today we harvested some vegetables and I thought I'd get my camera out and record some of our first year's crop.

Here are some of the shallots and onions we've been growing. We pulled them up today to dry out in the workshop. Some of the shallots are huge! I see a big dish of Greek Stifado on the menu.

We tried to grow some beans this year again - they aren't ready yet but they are already much mroe successful than last years attempt. We have broad beans and dwarf beans growing. I think we'll have even more of these next year.

Our tomatoes just haven't grown. We had lots of flowers on the plants but they just didn't fruit. I don't know if it's something we did or just the plants themselves. John is investigating.

The lettuces, cabbages and cauliflowers were doing really well and then a herd of slugs and caterpillars moved in. We've now learnt our lesson and will be growing them under covers next year. It's a shame because they were doing so well.
We've had one courgette off our plant so far. It was so yummy. There's more growing and I can't wait to cook some roasted veg with them.

John also got hold of some sweetcorn from work. It's not something I've ever thought about growing but I'm glad we did as they are doing really well. I'm really looking forwards to eating the corn cooked with butter.

We even have some strawberries. We picked up some almost dead strawberry plants for 50p quite late on. They haven't done much but they are fruiting and hopefully soon we'll have enough strawberries ripening at the same time to bother serving them with some cream!

Last but not least our potatoes are going great! We dug up on of our plants today. We already had quite a few the other day for dinner but today we got a large bowl full. And there are still 3 more plants full of potatoes.

John is already planning what we'll be growing this year. We have some mistakes to learn from but for our first year of growing in our garden I don't think we're doing bad!

Lisa x

Friday, 6 August 2010

Tick Tock

We're currently planning the redecoration of our living room. It's quite a long room with a chimney breast in middle on one wall. I'd love to find a nice big clock to sit on the wall.

Our colour scheme will be willow green and natural linens. Here are a few possibilities I've found so far...

24 inch Large Wall Clock from Klocktime

Eco-Retro Wall Clock from VectorCloud

Giant Sticker Station Clock by Brume

Custom Roman Numeral Clock Decal by Right on the Walls

Cuckoo Clock Decal by Right on the Walls

I'm so undecided about which I like best. Which do you like best? Do you have any more suggestions for me?

Lisa x

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Catching Up...

I've not been feeling too well recently which is the main reason for not being around online alot. I've now got the laptop out so I can try and catch up with everything in the online world.

We were at Cromford Steam Rally at the weekend. Despite the bad weather it was still a pretty good weekend. It was really cool to see all the vintage cars and steam vehicles. Though, with being on the stall I didn't have chance to get out with my camera.

Me and John are off work this week so we've decided to go out a bit and spend plenty of time relaxing before being back at work next week. We spent a nice day out yesterday at Castleton and will hopefully go out again tomorrow, weather permitting.

As well as exploring, over the next month or so we have lots going on at Altered Chic too. We're busy working on the new website and have lots of new products in the making. I'm hoping to start sharing photos and details over the next couple of weeks - stay tuned!

Lisa x