Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Apron Strings

A last couple of pre-Christmas makes.  As I am as far from being a Domestic Goddess as it's possible to get, obviously I didn't make the Christmas cake, I bought one from a supermarket beginning with S.  But I DID marzipan and ice it - that way you can have the icing as thick as you like, cos that's obviously the best bit.
Ditto the chocolate log, which is my favourite bit of festive food.  Sorry Mum, I know you've spent years slaving away in the kitchen to produce the perfect Christmas dinner - and I DO enjoy it - but I'd probably have been just as happy with a bowl of chocolate butter cream.
So, here's my cake, topped with silvery glitter stars .....
and before you ask - yes it IS edible glitter.  I'm not that daft.
And here is my chocolate log, displayed by me wearing my new Christmas pinny.  

I bought this delicious fabric from Creative Sanctuary several months ago.

I was sorely tempted to buy enough to make a dress just like the one the Doris Day lookalike is wearing, but (a) I'm not sure that I could have justified all that time and effort into making a dress that would be worn on one day of the year and (b) my waist is not quite the same as hers (that'll probably be years of Royal Icing and Chocolate buttercream).  
Anyway, when I rediscovered the fabric in my stash on Saturday, I rapidly rustled up an apron, complete with gingham ties and pocket, and trimmed with ricrac.
After all, there's no reason why a 'Can't Cook Won't Cook' shouldn't dress up as a 'Domestic Goddess' at Christmas.
Have a good one xx

Apron Strings - Marty Wilde

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Do They Know It's Christmas?

Just a quick one - I was handwashing one of my favourite jumpers at the weekend, and, as I wasn't after the 'felted wool' look,  I checked the care label, and I happened to see the contents.
It says 51% Cotton, 24% Wool, 19% Acrylic and 6% Yak.
I had to google it, just to see exactly what a Yak looked like.  Turns out the Yak is a long haired bovid found throughout the Himalayas, Tibet, Mongolia and Russia, and looks like this -
or this
So, to show my appreciation for their (albeit small) contribution to my favourite jumper, come on, let's hear it for the Yak.
And, apparently they DO know it's Christmas - here's one wearing his Christmas jumper
So, Happy Christmas to Yaks everywhere.

Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid

Saturday, 21 December 2013


Like everyone I guess, it's been a busy few weeks - although to be honest, I have it very easy compared to some - and it's been mostly good stuff.
My friend Angie had been given a 'Tea for Two' voucher for Harrods, and she invited me to go with her. I thought I'd better check the dress code:-
Ladies & gentlemen are required to be of smart casual attire; the management reserves the right to refuse entry any person deemed to be dressed inappropriately. Specifically the Dress code does not permit: sports shoes and trainers, wearing high-cut, Bermuda or beach shorts; swimwear; athletic singlets; cycling shorts; flip flops or thong sandals; with a bare midriff or bare feet; or wearing dirty or unkempt clothing.
Please note that fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted.
Bit disappointed, obviously, - I had planned to wear my Superwoman costume, or, failing that,  my 'Daisy Duke' shorts and a boob tube, but sadly I had to rethink my outfit.
The day started well when I met Angie at her office, with brilliant views over the city.  it was a bright sunny day and we could see Wembley Arch, the post office tower, the Shard and the London eye 

Then on to Harrods for afternoon tea.  It was a lovely setting - and you could tell the people who weren't regulars - they were the ones taking photos.
 The tea was fab - little finger sandwiches with the crusts cut off, scones with jam and cream and cakes.
 Let's have a close up of the cakes
We didn't QUITE finish everything, but we had a good crack at it, and I didn't eat again until the following evening!  Really lovely afternoon - I'd recommend it if you want to treat someone.
I had another trip into town to meet a friend and visit the V&A.  We saw the Pearls exhibition which we both enjoyed, and I decided I'd rather like a tiara.  I can see myself in a tiara
Maybe not wandering around Sainsburys - but could possibly get away with it in Waitrose without looking out of place. 
As we came out we saw the skaters outside the Natural History Museum.  It looks so Christmassy, I was almost tempted.  Almost.
I'm progressing my 'let's get things finished and use stuff up' resolution.  I've made this dress - it's my second Tiramisu dress.  You may remember that I thought my first one here was a bit 'mumsy' which wasn't really the look I was going for.  Anyway, this time I left the pockets out (although I like a pocket, they do tend to make a bit of extra bulk where you don't want it) and I chopped 12cm off the bottom.  It's also in a nice fabric, a much more drapey jersey and I'm really pleased with it.  The light's not great today so I didn't bother modelling it, but I may, if there's a photo opportunity over Christmas.
 I also found this 'London map' fabric that has been in my 'imminent to-do' pile for well over a year, and I knocked up a quick cushion
 AND - with buttonholes and buttons.

If you didn't get a Christmas card from me, here's a picure of what you would have received - I cheated this year and made one stitched fabric and paper collage, then scanned it and printed it onto watercolour paper. I then squidged a bit of glitter glue and stuck on a sequin or two.  
You'll have to image the glitter and sequins - I just hope you don't feel too hard done by.
Hope you have a really lovely Christmas xx


Sunday, 1 December 2013

I Started Something I Couldn't Finish

I decided that I've got far too many half-finished projects on the go, so I made up my mind I was going to finish a few things before starting anything else.
Firstly, I finished my final Summer/Festival 'round robin' piece in plenty of time for our Spectrum meeting on Wednesday.  Sue started  it with some coloured bunting stitched on plain white fabric, then Gina added black and white flowers and lettering with a Sharpie pen.  I'm afraid I forget who it was passed to next - but the mystery stitcher appliqued and stitched some coloured flowers, and also coloured the lettering in with a red pen.  
My task was to make it into a finished piece.  I decided to make it into a mini quilt and backed it with thin wadding, and a black and white floral cotton fabric.  I was going to bind it with red gingham, but my Mum thought it drew your eye away from the stitching, and she was right, so I used some batik fabric.  I would have finished it all in a day, had it not been for the fact that I managed to do myself a minor injury and sliced my finger open with some enthusiastic use of a rotary cutter (I'm not really a quilter)
Yesterday I started and finished a project.  Sounds quite impressive, but it was a Young Embroiderers' project - Gina had us making felt decorations, and the girls all finished at least two each.
Mine is the Christmas Tree with coloured buttons on the far right.  I think they all look lovely - the girls just get on with the stitching without any real assistance from us.  Gone are the days when we have to thread needles with an already soggy bit of embroidery floss.

Then I remembered I hadn't actually finished our last Young Embroiderers' project from a couple of months ago, so today I rooted around and found that.  Oh, ok then.  I was looking for something else and I found it and THEN I remembered I hadn't finished it.  But now I have.

When I'd finished my crow, I also discovered the 'cheese box collage kit' that I bought from Anne Brooke (otherwise known as H-Anne-Made) at Yarndale in Skipton, so I thought I'd make that.  I really enjoyed ripping up bits of paper, cutting and sticking, and then stitching the collage.  So that's another one-day project finished!

At this rate, I'll have finished all my projects by, ooh, 2020 maybe?

I Started Something I Couldn't Finish - The Smiths