Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Thank you!

I'm so pleased to be nominated by AnnieB at Overmilkwood for this creative and inspiring blogging award! It's really so lovely to think that someone has been tuning in to and enjoying my rambles! I'm still fairly new to blogging, and I'm really enjoying making all these connections with people I wouldn't otherwise have met. AnnieB's blog is full of such lovely things, so do head on over to take a look. Thanks so much, AnnieB!

The Award originally came from
Arte Y Pico's Blog
The Award rules are:
* Post the award on your own blog.(Post who gave it to you)
*Indicate its original link and link to that site. (Arte Y Pico from Uruguay)
*Give the award to 5 other blogs that you enjoy, find creative and inspire you.

So here are my 5 nominations for creative and inspiring blogs:
*(oops - edited to correct duplication with AnnieB's list!)*

Today we are ...
Two Hippos
Day to Day

All so fantastically creative, and definitely inspiring!

Monday, 25 February 2008

Day trip to London

I was in London on Saturday, for a friend's hen do. This was a lot more civilised than the usual affair (though I am no expert having not had a hen do before getting married). Champagne afternoon tea at Claridges, no less! Another friend had hand made a sash for the bride-to-be in satin with 'DING DONG' spelled out in silver sequins - very Claridges! Needless to say the afternoon tea was fantastic - a glass of champagne, tiny gourmet sandwiches, cakes and scones with tea :)

I arrived in London early, squeezing in a few fabric shop stops before meeting up with everyone. It's not often that I get the chance to leave the children with my husband and nip off for a solo expedition, so I made the most of it.

Unfortunately Selfridges had run out of copies of Marie Claire Idees, but I did come away with a few other goodies from John Lewis on Oxford Street and V V Rouleaux:

These area all destined for Summer clothing items for my little girl. Just waiting for the weather to pick up a little! The patchwork stripe fabric will be a skirt of some sort, then I was thinking of a layered dress with the spots and pink, as the spots is a bit lightweight on its own. Not sure what I'm doing with the trims yet, but they were too pretty not to buy. It's lucky I don't get the chance to shop very often as I could easily make a habit of picking up pretty bits and pieces like this!

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Ticking things off the list

One of our goals for this half term was to get the house sorted out a bit. This is a goal for most weekends and school holidays, but somehow we never seem to quite get on top of the clutter. So a few days ago we went to Ikea, a day out for all the family! My children love ikea - especially the children's bedroom part of the showroom. We don't go very often, but even so they knew where they were aiming for - straight into the beds, all tucked in and ready for stories! That, and a meal in the cafe, is enough to sell the whole trip to them.

So here are the results:

a tidier bookcase - fabrics folded and craft magazines and patterns stored in files

painted shelves, to be filled up with junk soon, most likely

picture frames up on walls

print by askey illustration, another etsy purchase

So we're getting somewhere, albeit slowly ... we have been in this house almost 18 months after all. Having children has definitely slowed down the pace of getting things finished!

Friday, 22 February 2008

Finished objects

moleskine organiser in progress (except in reverse!)

Thanks for the kind comments to my last post! I'm still feeling like a happy crafter, as I've just listed the last of the three custom orders I was working on this week. The original which prompted the custom orders is this one, but the resulting 3 orders are so different, due to the fabric choices of the customers. One was in zingy orange stripes (above), and another in chocolate brown and teal damask (in my last post). The last one was my first time sewing leather, which was so straightforward. I'd somehow thought my machine wouldn't cope with the task, but armed with some leather needles, I gave it a try and I'm so pleased with how the brown leather looks against the charcoal pinstripe. Thankfully, all the customers were pleased with the designs I'd come up with too!

Now I need to decide whether to make more of these, or to start on something new. Hopefully my trip to V V Rouleaux, Liberty, and now (thanks for the tip off from Two Hippos) to Selfridges for a copy of Marie Claire Idees, should provide some inspiration for a new project.

Monday, 18 February 2008


It's half term, the sun is shining and all is good! As I type my husband is downstairs entertaining the children by changing the battery in the smoke alarm. Seriously - this is a huge treat for them as they find it most entertaining. They particularly like it when he presses the 'test' button. And my daughter is so very proud of his efforts. Last time he changed the battery she told everyone that her daddy was very good at fixing things for weeks! It really is so sweet how easily impressed the children are by the smallest tasks.

I was having a conversation with my little girl the other day about not going out to work and she said 'but you have got a job mummy, you make bags'. I realise my contribution to our household income is tiny, but the fact that my hobby can earn a bit of pin money delights me. (In fact, the whole concept of pin money delights me - such an evocative phrase. It makes me feel like a proper homemaker, even if I'm not so good at the cleaning and tidying part!). My etsy shop has now made it's 40th sale (the last three thanks to my lovely sister), and I have 3 custom orders on the go at the moment, which makes me feel like a bona fide maker!

the first custom etsy order - one down two to go!

I was also thrilled to find Lisa at U-handbag had put my moleskine case in her monthly favourites from the u-handbag flickr group. Lisa's was the first blog I discovered and I have been reading avidly ever since. Such a fantastic source of ideas and tutorials, and I really like Lisa's writing style. It's lovely to be featured by such a talented lady!

Oh, and did I mention it's half term? That means lots more days of not getting dressed in the morning and leisurely sewing time - hooray :D

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Chinese New Year in London

We had a family day out to London today - me, my husband and the two children, meeting up with my sister and her boyfriend to watch the Chinese New Year parade. Another day of glorious sunshine and blue skies, which was perfect for just meandering through the streets.

The children were totally excited by the trip in on the train, and the tube journey to Leicester Square. My husband and I didn't see much of the parade as there were so many people watching, but the children, up on our shoulders, talked us through it. The highlights for them were a waving panda and, of course, the chinese dragons.

Chinatown was just lovely - festooned with lanterns. We had a fantastic lunch with lots of dishes to share - crispy duck with pancakes, shredded chilli beef, chicken with cashews, char sui and Szechuan noodles. Yum :D I probably won't need to eat for the rest of the week.

Unfortunately, the streets round Leicester square were shut due to congestion, so we missed the main fireworks display, but the noise was phenomenal. This was the moment my little boy took to fall asleep in my arms!

We came back with little paper lanterns and concertina Chinese dragons, which the children have played with non-stop, so I'm sure we'll have a few diy parades for the coming week. The whole trip was because my little girl had been so excited to learn about Chinese New Year at school last week, so she was really thrilled with her day out. It was so nice to do something all together for a change too, as we seem to fritter away our time at weekends with household tasks and trips to the supermarket.

Only one more week to go now before half term. I seem to have a different perspective on this to a lot of the mums I know as my husband is a teacher, so half term means not just time off school for the children but an extra pair of hands to help look after them, and maybe a bit of crafting time for me :)

Saturday, 9 February 2008

A sunny Saturday

It's been spring-like here today - beautifully sunny and mild. A day in the garden for the children, then we put them to work cleaning the car this afternoon.

I'm not sure how much cleaner the car is at the end of it, but they certainly had a lot of fun, and wellies full of water to prove it!

This week has gone really quickly. So far I haven't really accomplished any of my aims from my last post. I'm about half way through the pair to dashing, I haven't even begun to tackle the ironing pile, and operation get-the-boy-to-eat-proper-meals is making slow progress. After a day-long standoff over a tuna pasta bake midweek, by Thursday he was coaxed into eating a homemade mackerel pastie, and on Friday a slow-cooked cottage pie.

I'm hoping to work up to cauliflower and broccoli cheese next week ... we'll see on that one! I'm beginning to question my sanity after my 4 year old little girl's incredulity that I was taking pictures of our lunch!

More sewing this evening, I hope. I'm thinking of making some knitting needle rolls for my shop. I made a few cute pencil cases today - all ready to photograph and list tomorrow - hopefully we'll get a bit more of that lovely sunshine.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Monday evening

I managed to carve out a bit of sewing time for myself over the weekend, albeit in a stop-start kind of fashion. I did some cutting out on Saturday, then set about sewing today. The result is a few completed items - a bamboo-handled bag, some lavender bags and a card case that is to be consigned to the scrap heap (one of those rushing-to-finish moments and I fixed the magnetic snap totally off-centre!). It feels like it's been ages since I've had the sewing machine out - poorly children + poorly me = sewing machine neglect.

I have now given up on the house being illness-free for the duration of the Winter - if I don't expect too much then it's bound to be better than I hoped!

Aims for the week:
getting to the bottom of the ironing pile (haha - as if that's going to happen)
getting my little boy to eat vegetables (ditto)
knitting the pair to the dashing glove I posted to my father for his birthday last week (this one, I might just manage!)
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