Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I finally finished Day by A L Kennedy. I got into it right at the end and wished I'd paid more attention at the beginning. I think it would've helped establish what was happening and I would've enjoyed it more. Not a book to read two or three pages of and put down. Concentration and attention. I'm glad to be finished it. I'd still like to read Paradise by her.

And now I'm onto The Loudest Sound And Nothing. Claire was in my year at UEA, though we were in different classes. I remember her story of the wasps and the hand and the ring in the summer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

High Society

Yesterday I watched High Society while finishing off the front of Keigan's jumper. I particularly like this bathing robe worn by Grace Kelly. Later on, the morning after a drunken pre-wedding night, she turns up in a beautiful wedding dress that looks as light as a feather and asks Bing Crosby, "Do you like my dress?" to which he replies yes. She then looks melancholy and says, "It's awfully heavy," which really made me laugh.
So this morning I made my second Amy Butler bag, because it was playing on my mind and I was obsessing about it. I'm still getting used to it and wonder if the purple lining is too overpowering?
In the meantime, I love my blue gerbera bag and have been carrying my phone and book around in it and looking at it admiringly. I'm sure the olive and purple one will grow on me in time too.
Will it be too OTT to go out in a skirt, bag, and headband all made from the same material? I think so. However, I may not be able to resist!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hm... Amy Butler Bag

Right, so, off and on today I've been making Amy Butler's In Town Bag. The outer material is Carla Miller Gerbera from cottonpatch, the inner material is cotton lining from Anglian Fashion Fabrics. Now, I can't stop looking at it because it's so sweet and lovely, BUT I'm not entirely sure how usable it is, as in - what would I put in it to carry around? It's more substantial than I initially thought it would be, but not really geared for taking anything heavy. I'll have to road test it. Maybe it could be a more sophisticated paperback bag? I might see if I can get thicker/tougher interfacing for my next attempt.
Inside it has four pockets. It's GORGEOUS.

Breakfast in the Sunshine

It is such a beautiful, sunny day here I decided to have my breakfast on the picnic bench, after walking round to the shops for milk and papers.
I was especially pleased because this morning when I got up I judged I could dare try on one of my many skirts I've been making. I never mentioned this before - but I made them a size smaller than I was at the time because I fully intended losing weight. So all the skirts have been/are being made in the size I want to be. And this morning I fit into them!!! I'm so pleased. The first time I tried this skirt on it was halfway up my torso because I was too fat for it to sit and fit normally. I still have a way to go - the skirt is puckering an inch at the waistband now rather than 8 inches - but it's a good start and gives me a strong incentive to continue.

Friday, April 25, 2008

An Evening Out; and Fabric Gluttony

I've just seen my friend Bev perform at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich in Hayfever by Noel Coward. She was absolutely great, and very funny in the role of Myra, a sexual vamp. I so wish I'd taken my camera because my friend Mo and I were up on the balcony overhanging the stage and had perfect views. But I had rushed to get there after dropping Hagos off at the airport then driving home for a quick supper before leaving to go out again. It was a really lovely way to spend the evening.
This is my Kaffe Fassett Green Daisy from my work colleagues. It really reminds me of Art Deco style, which is why I love it. I really believe I now have enough material and feel slightly that I've overdosed on it. Like eating so much chocolate you feel sick. But a good sick.
And these are my cut out bags pinned together with interfacing, ready to sew together.

Hagos will be back on Monday. I'm planning to sew, read, knit, play piano and watch the occasional DVD until then.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Poached Eggs

I felt disproportionately excited yesterday when I made poached eggs for the first time in my egg poacher. A little trial and error ensued with regards to water volume and heat setting but the result for a first attempt was satisfactory and edible, which is all that matters. Though I may have to consult Mrs Beeton to perfect the technique.
I love eggs; and poached eggs are my favourite type.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Verbena Cobalt

This is the other part of my birthday present from my sister and brother-in-law. I love the boldness and scale of the colour and design. Although it's called Verbena Cobalt (Kaffe Fassett) the flowers remind me of a flower bush my Granny had in her back garden when we were kids. I can never remember the name of this bush but I'm sure these flowers are meant to represent it.

Alongside the material are my new pinking shears. My work colleagues had bought me dressmaking scissors as part of my present but I already have a good pair I got in John Lewis a couple of months ago, so I exchanged them for pinking shears, which was next on my list to buy. I've been having trouble zig-zagging the lining of the skirts I make and the pattern says the alternative is to cut it with pinking shears instead. So I'll give that a go. It's already been helpful when I pre-washed my last lot of material before cutting and sewing it, the edges were much less frayed when it came out of the washing machine.

Now I'm just waiting for my Kaffe Fassett Green Daisy material to turn up, which I'm hoping will be there for me when I go to work on Tuesday. I think it was being delivered to Katy.

Today I watched Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. Audrey Hepburn's clothes were made by Givenchy, and they were exquisite. I love the collarless coats, and there were a couple of dresses I'd love to copy. And her hair. I'll have to get my hairdresser to show me how to do something like that.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Keigan's Jumper

This is the progress so far on Keigan's jumper. It's for a 1 - 1 1/2 year old and Keigan was 1 at the end of March, so I have a slight time pressure to finish it.

I really love wool and knitting and particularly like this jumper, and I still love looking at wool and touching it and want to buy lots of it from John Lewis, but I can't believe I've spent so much of my life knitting. It takes ages. A couple of hours to do three or four inches (DK). In contrast to sewing where a couple of hours can get you a near-complete item! When I finish this I really don't think I'll knit much else. Slowly finish all those unfinished jumpers (2) and mittens (1) and I'm sure there's other stuff lurking I've forgotten about.

Hagos is in London for a gig today. I have to pick him up at 11.30pm at the train station. Might do a bit of sewing until then.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Birthday Holiday in Scotland

I had a really great five day holiday in Scotland. Above is me with my parents and sister on my birthday, with my birthday cake. They had it made with a photo of me on it! It tasted delicious too.
I'm still recovering from the trip. Hagos and I drove to Edinburgh on Friday and stayed with our friends Pete and Lynsey and their kids Nate and JJ. We arrived about 9pm after a horrendously long drive due to being stuck in three traffic jams! By the time we got there we were more than ready for a glass of wine and we ended up talking and drinking until about 2am. They asked us to be Godparents and we were really touched and pleased. The kids are great fun and very sweet.

On Saturday we went to the Botanics with Pete and JJ while Lyns and Nate went to a party. And in the evening Pete took us out to dinner to a delicious Thai restaurant; however we were all exhausted and went home early and were in bed by midnight!

On Sunday we visited Hagos's mum, Bette and stayed there for lunch and dinner. We also got to see Hagos's brother and his kids who were in Scotland visiting too. For some reason I didn't take any photos of this part of the trip! We went to a really nice Chinese restaurant in the evening, before driving to Dumfries to stay with my parents.

On Monday Hagos and I and Jacqueline went into town and had lunch and coffee, then in the evening we had a little party for my birthday. All my family was there, and later in the evening my oldest friend Deb and her mum came over for a couple of hours. I hadn't seen Deb for seven years so it was really nice to catch up.

I got lots of REALLY nice presents from everyone but the best part of my birthday weekend was seeing everyone I love and being with Hagos.

Keigan playing football in the back garden. His new thing is to turn round and round on the spot until he falls over, then he gets straight back up and falls over again. It's very funny to watch. Obviously a thrill-seeker! He'll be bungy jumping before too long. My sister and brother-in-law bought me Midwest Modern for my birthday, along with some eagerly-awaited Kaffe Fassett material. The book is gorgeous. I've read some of it and looked at all the photos. I'm looking forward to reading it more. My parents bought me an egg poacher, which I've wanted for years, along with lots of baking equipment and cake decorations.
I love baking, but only had one cake tin left after all other baking equipment had been used for cooking vegetables and chips in the oven, so my new items will only be used for lovely cakes. Meg was really pleased to see us on our return. The feeling was mutual.

I'm back to work tomorrow. I have lots of plans for the next couple of months, including completing all my skirts! losing some weight, and other stuff that will be revealled in time when they come to fruition.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me

This is my new Asus laptop that Hagos got me for my birthday. I absolutely love it already, and can't wait to use it out and about! Isn't it sweet?
I had a choice of green, pink, blue, black and white, and after looking up the psychology of colour on Wikipedia decided on green.
It's difficult to convey the difference in scale, so this is my new laptop sitting in the lap of my old laptop.

On the mouse front: After a Haggarty Hunt that lasted for half an hour the previous evening, I got up during the night to find the poor wee thing dead in the middle of the living room. We had another mouse hunt when it broke cover late last night, but it returned to its place of safety behind the drawers and we went to bed. It obviously thought it could escape during the night but Meg's paws and claws and teeth and speed won in the end.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Mega Jazzies, and a New Laptop!

This is what Hagos and I treated ourselves to in town today. Mega Jazzies, and they are absolutely delicious.

Today has been an excellent day. I'm writing this post on my new Asus laptop, a present from Hagos for my birthday next week. It's about half the size of other laptops, which means I can carry it wherever I go really easily. I'll post a photo of it tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A Girls' Night In

Hagos was out last night and I intended lounging on the couch with a book/knitting/DVD on, but ended up running around like a mad thing and cutting out another skirt! I absolutely love the boldness of the pattern and the blue.

Meg was in at the end, jumping on my matterial with the pins and pattern still attached. I thought she was going to shred the pattern so I lifted her clean off, carried her through to the kitchen and stuck her nose in her food, which distracted her long enough for me to clear away.
Today my replacement Kaffe Fassett Roman Glass Jewel material arrived so I will soon have another skirt. I think four may be my limit for a while, though I've been eyeing up Kaffe Fassett's Verbena Cobalt recently. It's only a matter of time.