Thursday, 28 July 2011

Nap-time upcycling and a photo shoot

I had a few minutes 'spare' whilst both children were napping today, and a little project beckoned to me.  I made an impulse buy in a sale up in a local town this morning (never a particularly wise idea, but not expensive!) and when I got home and tried it on (I was wearing a sleeping baby in the shop, so could not try on there) I was less than convinced...

To be honest, I was less than loving those frills... So. I decided to cut them off (to be used for something else when I get inspiration) and instead make a little binding out of a contrasting fabric (something I've been meaning to do for a while having seen lots of lovely on-line ideas) and stitch it on- much more simple, but hopefully nice!

I have a lovely Cath Kidston material that I have been eaking out due to it's general loveliness (and general expensiveness, let's be honest) and I used that.

It doesn't look bad at all now.  Certainly it's a bit more individual!

Early on in the year I knitted a lovely Debbie Bliss cabled cardi for the impending arrival (Poppy!).  Today I shot some pictures of her wearing it- I think both she and it look pretty good (to be utterly biased)...

Lastly I'd like to share with you one of my lovely birthday presents- a scarf! (A scarf in the summer? Yes, a scarf in the summer).  It's made from a beautifully cool (fair trade) jersey material and it is definitely summer colours...

Isn't it lovely?  I got one in two colours, and then ordered two more for presents.  I imagine it would be very warm in the winter, but it's also lovely for keeping you nice and toasty if sitting outside in the evening in the summer.  (On a practical note, it's also big enough to use as a snuggly blanket for a baby as I did with P when pushing her back from the park when it was a bit chillier the other day).

Enjoy your weekend.

C x

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Bits and bobs

I have been doing a few bits and bobs lately.  Days seem to pass very quickly, and often there seems very little time for craft, beyond a row or two of knitting, or a stitch or two of sewing.  Still, a few little things I have been doing in the past week are....

Making a little gift for an upcoming birthday of a little friend of E's...

A little pinny for a pretty little lady
Making a sleeping bag for "Polly the Puffin"- E's favourite toy.

I  kind of made this up as I went along, but I have seen a lovely pattern for doing similar ones (but far more polished and pretty) on this beautiful blog.  Do pop along and have a peek.  E was absolutely delighted, and loves to pop Polly in her sleeping bag for nap and bed time.

I also found a fabulous recipe for raspberry and white chocolate muffins.

I had some lovely reading time...

And had a little go at free-embroidery...

That, and lots of trips to the park, nappy changes, laundry etc...

How's your week going?

C x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A Sewing Project

Last night I finished a sewing project I started over the weekend.  E could do with a few more pairs of summer shorts/ 3/4 length trousers, and I have a lovely little pattern in my book "Making Children's Clothes".  I have a lot of material in my stash, but unfortunately I didn't have anything that was particularly boyish, let alone some hard wearing fabric for something he'll be running around with.  So, with some birthday money, I popped along to our local(ish) fabric shop, and set about making some.

I found some hard-wearing khaki green material, and this fabulous car/digger/bus material for the contrasting turn ups and pockets.

I've not done any clothes making for a little while, so it took longer than I thought, but I bought some other material to make a second pair, so I'm sure they will take much less time, as the second time you use a pattern it always seems to go much more smoothly.

I love the contrasting waist band- it's a lovely attention to detail in the pattern.  The only place where I 'deviated' from the pattern was in using zig-zag stitch on the inside seams instead of pressing them open.  Given that it's clothing that I hope will last, I wanted to make durable seams.

By the way, is it just me, or is it not the most wonderful thing to iron the projects as you go along? It makes it all so beautiful to look at and work with. (I know that's what you are meant to do- it is just so satisfying though, and let's face it, it's one of the only time our iron gets used...!)

Fascinated by my shoes being washed!

And, despite the fact that the perfectionist in me keeps noticing all of the tiny things that didn't go perfectly, the boy seems rather pleased with his new shorts!

Next up... some little bloomers (from the same book) for the little Lady.

In other news, if anyone is into sewing, and wants some beautiful inspiration, check out this fabulous blog. I can't get enough of browsing the archives.  Right, I am going to make some muffins.  Does anyone have a good recipe for blueberry muffins? A friend made me some amazing ones recently, and I need to find a similarly wonderful recipe!

Enjoy your Wednesday.

C x

Yes, you would be correct, those are Cath Kidston sewing scissors!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Gifts on their way...

Thanks for comments on my last post.  I look forward to trying out those recipes, and I always like new knitting patterns too!  The give away winner (chosen at random) is...

*Please can you email me with your address and I will post these little gifts off to you! (caroline (at) almcnicoll (dot) co (dot) uk).  I hope you like them.

I also tried out a new recipe from Country Living magazine's July issue- it was rather amazing- Chocolate Ginger cake.  A very delicious combination.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

C x

*Vintage Appeal is a very lovely blog you can find here

Saturday, 9 July 2011

First Birthday Give Away

So. This week Cream Teas and Crafternoons is one!  I thought that a nice way of celebrating a first Blogiversary would be to do a little give away.  So, in the give away we have:

All hand made- a shoulder bag in Cath Kidston material, a little needle case (with some needles in it to get you started) and a little handbag tissue holder (made from one of my favourite materials with sketched flowers and butterflies!).

All you need to do to be in with a chance of receiving these little gifts is to leave me a blog comment, ideally with a link to a favourite recipe or pattern/tutorial!  I'll leave this open until the evening of Tuesday July 12th, and will pick the winner on the Wednesday.

C x

Friday, 8 July 2011

A belated birthday present and a Spanish omlette

Soon I am seeing a friend I have not seen for a while, and I have been busy making a belated birthday present*.  Given that she might read this, I shan't show the proper pictures until after I've given her the gift, but here's a little picture of some of the project (knitted with Sirdar Bamboo yarn) on circular needles (using the magic loop- thanks Nim for the tip!). 

The other day for dinner I tried out Jamie O's Spanish Potato and Chorizo Omlette (which you can find on his website here).  It is essentially a Spanish tortilla, and is absolutely lovely! I made two as there were several mouths to feed, and to the second one I added green peppers and some emmental cheese.  Both were extremely tasty, and were also delicious eaten cold the following day.

How's your week going?

C x

* Yes, that does in fact mean that I now have four knitting projects on the go at once, but this one will be finished soon....!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

A skein unravelled and some sushi

So I decided to follow Meg's advice and ball up my skein of knitpicks wool.  It was definitely a good idea, and I figured it'd take about half an hour... Alas no.  Given that I'd started knitting with it already, some of the skein wasn't as neatly packaged as when it first arrived and it took nearer 2 hours to ball-up- the entire duration of a Craft evening I had on Tuesday.  Still, it made for some fun group activity at times...

But look how lovely it looks now...

It turns out that 100g of 4-ply wool is actually quite a lot!
Still, it's done now (particular thanks to Georgie!), and is nice and neat, and the Charlotte Dress is making slow but satisfying progress...

In other news, we went to dinner with some friends last Saturday and rolled sushi for the first time.  It was great!  Although I was a bit of a coward on the raw fish front, and didn't get any more adventurous than smoked salmon, I loved the ones that I rolled, and had a generally lovely evening!

Rachel's looked incredibly professional (she is quite experienced at sushi-rolling), but even mine looked quite cool for a first-time attempt!

A fun, and very sociable meal! (Thanks Nick and Rachel!)

I hope you are enjoying a leisurely weekend.  We are enjoying the beautiful weather, and our sixth wedding anniversary!  Happy Saturday, Friends.

C x