6 items or less

Holidays – gone and done…

Well, part of the stress of packing was removed thanks to the idea I came accross a few weeks back: 6 items or less. This rule has been devised as a “global experiment examining the power of what we don’t wear”. 4 weeks, 31 days – just 6 items (excluding outerwear, sports wear, underwear).

I read about it a few months ago and thought it would be ideal for my travels around Peruto travel light. Something similar was also mentioned in an article I read on the virgin train magazine Saturday: “Case notes: How to pack light”. It quoted Donna Karan’s “7 easy pieces” introducing the idea of capsule wardrobe.

In my case, my items of choices were:
1) black maxi dress
2) black below the knee skirt with big front pockets (great for travelling as documents can be kept handy there)
3) stripey floatey skirt that doubled up as a boob tube tunic
4) brown tshirt
5) burgundy top
6) black cashmere cardi
To complement those I took 2 pairs of tights/leggings, 2 belts ( thin brown one and a thicker white one), a sarong in shades of kaki and beige as well as a gorgeous flowery shawl. For outerwear I chose a tweed jacket in shades of burgundy, navy and beige.

I made them work together by mixing, matching and layering. It worked a treat in the ever changing weather we experienced along the way. From cloudy and windy sea level to high altitude sunny spots and colder nights.

I did of course have to do a few washings along the way but it worked pretty well. I thought it wasn’t too hard to keep up although by the end I was really looking forward to meet up with my full wardrobe back home.

Anyway, all this to say that traveling light is not just for skint students or hobo backpackers. It can be done in style too! A few funky accesories and complementary coloured clothing will make the whole difference!

New books

Oooh I love it when Amazon beats its delivery date. One day ahead of schedule makes one customer very happy. Here they are:

One about wine:


One about photography:


One about making pretty things!


A few weeks of Mancunian and not so Mancunian evenings…

Oh dear, October is already half way through and I’m so behind my fascinating extravaganza of a life…

So, due to circumstances out of my power (SUPER POOOOOWER) I missed almost completely the Manchester Food and Drink FestiVal…

Well, the first weekend, I was busy making a gorgeous dress (see previous blog), visiting shops and restaurant for  launch parties and throwing in a gig as well as being away the second weekend as I was enjoying the country life style in the Yorkshire Dales.

Here is the proof!

  • Bands on the Wall presents Jazzanova!

What an incredible night!



  • Mini MFDF visit

Rags to Bitches Cacao Before Chanel!

Successful evening consisting of: gorgeous fashion, people, jewelry, chocolate and cocktails! What an excellent combination!



DSC02165 straight

I like the side effect of the photo!


  • Then from cacao, moving on to Ning’s cooking book launch


And what a great way to celebrate this than sampling some delicious Malay food freshly prepared by Norman, the head chef!


Norman and Andy giving us the lowdown on the delicious banquet!


My small digital camera does not give justice to the colourful and deliciousness of the food prepared by Norman’s talented skills but gives only an idea on how good it was!

We sampled about 10 dishes, all from the new cooking book edited by the passionate chef and partners of Ning! A great idea for Christmas! All ingredients are easy to find and the dished at the reach of every chef hiding in every one of us!


Yummy fresh dessert made on demand! More, more, more please!


After gorgeous food, a bit of countryside appeal!


  • Off the the Yorkshire Dales via Rochdale!

Unlikely stop pit yet the incredible Alison Seagrave opened her lovely shop, Macaroon, there about a year ago (take a few months or so). Having a car gave the perfect excuse to stop by before escaping to the country!


After a bit of a parking stress trying to avoid the police handing out tickets, we could relax and sample the simple offering of soups, open sandwiches and light bites.

I chose a really flavoursome pea and mint soup and my partner in taste a lovely local cheese open sandwich with sweet chutney (a bit over powering) and local cured ham! Yumm! 

We took some sweets for our journey up North consisting of strawberry macaroon and a jammie dodger cup cake! Divine!



Jammie Dodger cupcake – I am still dreaming about those!

  • Country here we come!

After a couple of hours driving through the gorgeous greeness of the countryside, we reached our destination!


Not this one though! 

But this one!DSC02205

The Wensleydale Heifer! Apparently, the first boutique hotel in the Yorkshire Dales! It was great! In lovely remote village, surrounded by cows and sheep!



 But the last thing I was expecting was the amazing food we were served in the restaurant!

Restaurant specialised in seafood and featured in the Times Top 10 seafood restaurant in the UK! Yes!

All fresh seafood from Wales and Scotland! It was a real surprise and an amazing treat for our palates, all washed down with well chosen wine! 


Seafood platter with oyster and raspberry balsamic vinegar, salmon, gravalax, cured herring, tempura prawns, spring rolls, goat cheese fritter (random in the middle of the seafood but extremely tasty nevertheless!) and a couple more things! A feast for a king! It was delicious!

The mains were equally as amazing!


Seared tuna steak served with home made chips and tiger prawns


Seafood Thermidor – apparently my partner in taste’s fave main meal! 🙂

After this, there was no more room for dessert which was a shame as they had a gorgeous mini selection of their top6 desserts! Maybe next time! 

  • Themed rooms!

After retiring to the Racing room – yes, every room had a theme. Such as Chocolate, Wensleydale, Whiskey, 4 poster, Cow, and a few others!

Ours was Racing – all based around Horse Racing! It was brilliant! DVD’s, books, magazines, memorabilia, clocks, posters, etc. All with lovely taste! Loved it! It gave me a competitive edge!

  • Studio Salford

During the week, I did a shift for Studio Salford at the King’s Arms! A little gem in Salford! A must visit really! I love it!  

A great offer on theater nights! Check it out. 

  • Warehouse Project

And to finish on a high,  Groove Armada at the Warehouse Project! A brilliant night this sunday just gone! 

A great act live I could not recommend more! I’ve never been a massive fan – enough to appreciate them – but live, they are fantastic!




Perfect way to end it – not the last tune of the gig but the last one of my banter anyway!

Tuddleloo! V x

La mode a la Francunienne!

Sylvia, this post is dedicated to you!

A maasssive thank you to Rags to Bitches for the course they run!

Having just completed one this weekend, I can safely say that the course are well run with really qualified designers! Thank you again to Sylvia and Lisa!

2 days – 1 dress! Raise your bets ladies and gentlemen, the race is on!

This is how it  goes…

  • We met outside the shop to go to the studio based opposite Koffee pot in a gorgeous loft in a Victorian building.

Here it is!




  • After a relaxed and friendly introduction to the fashion designers – 4 aspiring ones (including me) and 2 actual professionals, a couple of coffees and updates on the latest tv goss’, off we go to start our dresses!


  • We all design the model we have in mind

Here mine, a 50’s inspired model from a vintage book!

50's inspired model

  • From then, we start making our patterns based on the measurements made and applied to the bloc patterns suited to our sizes we used!



  • Then comes the pinning and once everything is into place, the cutting. 




  • Once all the pieces are cut, an overlocker to give the fabric a better hold, less threading and a more professional finish! Quite a scary machine as it also cuts the hedges and can cut through if not careful! Luckily, it all went well! Then, it’s on the assembling the parts and sewing, the stressful and exciting part!


High level of concentration! 🙂


  • By then, the dress starts taking shape and the little gingerbread man break (so friendly looking I have noted!) is very welcomed! 



I’m going to eat you, you yummy thing! Miam, miam, miam as we say in French!


  • After a few fitting to make sure everything is ok, the back zip is fitted, the neckline added, the arms finished and the slit sewed! Et voilaaaaaa!



 A tailored dress Made by The Francunian! Is this the beginning of a design label?


The blogs, the bands and the pretties

My oh My…

How long is this going to take me?

I feel lost in a deep forest of websites, blogs, links, tweets, Facebook, Googlemail, Hotmail, e-mail…

So much information is available and so little time to read and find out about it… So what’s next? Well I love Google reader! I’ve only used it for just over a week but already I can see the (surely time consuming) most efficient way to scan through the mass of the web by getting pre selected and therefore targeted updates to blogs, websites and the rest… I am a fan already! I now follow various ones including ones related to Mancunia, culture, fashion , architecture and design, plain pretty, geeky (I love geeky dad!), crafty blogs and some news as well. Knowledge is power!

So much to discover but so little time…

Talking of which, I am really excited about the reopening of Bands on the Wall and I have already booked  a couple of nights  – to start with!  Starting with the Bays on the 27/9 and followed by the Berlin based collective  Jazzanova on the 6/10! A night to reminisce about life in Berlin back a few years now… I cannot wait!

Automn is kick starting and so are the student nights and the awakening of Manchester’s party scene! Roll on gigs and parties. Warehouse Project 09 starting soon with a very eclectic line up, from Laroux to DJ Sneak! Cherry picking might prove difficult…

Gigs, gigs, gigs… Next on my list is Maximo Park at the Apollo on the 8/10 and the frenchies Phoenix playing the Academy2 on the 27/10 ! I do like a bit of variety in my entertaiment selection!

As for the pretties, I was going to mention briefly the colourful Pride Parade that took place 2 weeks ago (yes, it took me a while). A mix of corporate, nights, political and randomnes walking Manchester. Enjoyed to very friendly atmosphere and laughed at the antipride demonstrator being ridiculed!

I am adding a new string to my bow by joining the Rags to Bitches dress making course in October! I cannot wait for this either! I sold my first piece at Val’s Home Market last wednesday as well, which gave me the confidence to invest more time in this hobby of mine!  More Home Market to follow so watch this space Mancunian Ladies!

Creation, fashion, music and more!

A bientot cher Readers!

The Francunian