Thursday, February 26, 2009

I made a shower cap

One of my friends, who I made one of my famous toiletries bags for, asked me if she could commission me to make her a matching shower cap. I didn't have any of the lovely Carla Miller Purple Gerbera material left so had to search the internet for more. I was lucky to find some just up the road from me in Norfolk at Wroxham Barns Sew Creative.
So, not having a pattern for a shower cap, I measured my own head, added an inch, then drew a rough 17" circle onto graph paper. I cut both material and lining (the waterproof lining I use for my toiletries bags) to the pattern then shaved off a centimetre and a half from the lining, then pinned them together, hemmed all the way round. I did little tucks regularly spaced to compensate for the curve.
Sewed the hem, inserted the elastic etc, et voila! I have a beautiful matching shower cap. I'll give it to her this weekend as part of her belated Christmas present.

We're off to Scotland tomorrow to celebrate Hagos's and my dad's birthdays.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Queen Meg

When I have a day in the shed I always switch on the electricity first while I'm making breakfast, to turn the heater on, then after breakfast I take my box of books and laptops out to the shed and set them all up, then I go back inside to make myself a coffee before heading back out to the shed to work.

This morning Meg intercepted me between setting up the shed and making coffee. I let her into the shed, spread out a warm, comfy blanket for her to lie on, and went back into the house to make my coffee. When I returned to the shed I found her sitting on my chair, as I knew I would. It must be just the right size for her because she often chooses it above anything else to sit on.
And when I rolled the chair nearer the blanket to encourage her to move, I was soft-pawed for my trouble. What a sweetie!

We had a really nice weekend: lunch in Cafe Rouge; then on Sunday Vicky came round and made us pancakes, which was a lovely treat. I should really have taken photos but the pancakes were so delicious I didn't want to stop while I got my camera. I had two with Green and Black's chocolate spread and fresh strawberries, and two with fresh lemon and caster sugar! Deelicious.

I've noticed that my blog has been rather Meg orientated recently. We're off to Scotland next weekend, so I'll try to broaden my gaze then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pants Pants, or, Pass The Sunglasses

Maybe I just wasn't in the mood. I made my second pair of pants, and I didn't much enjoy the process. They're very comfortable to wear, but I don't like the whiteness of the elastic trim. I'm having trouble finding elastic trim that I like though, and that is also cost-effective. Hmmmm.

I think I'm hungry.

My third pair of pants are prepped just waiting for the elastic trim to be put on, but I think I'll wait and try to find trim that is less dazzling!

Okay. Pizza is ready.

Playing with Meg

I just happened to be sitting on the floor - well, actually that's not entirely accurate. I was sitting comfortably on the couch but I moved to the floor because Meg came through the cat flap from outside and I didn't want to be pinned to the couch by her sitting on me. Anyway, while I was down here, Meg jumped up onto her seat on the couch and I thought it might be a good angle to take photos from. I have a similar (actually better) photo to the one above, but I really like when she comes right into the camera.
She's very forbearing when I photograph her, but all the photos I took just now have the same, rather grudging look as this photo above. Like she's barely putting up with me and my nonsense.

I worked this morning instead of this afternoon as I had to drop Hagos off at the train station for the 8am train to London. So now I'm planning to sew my pants together, make Meg new cushion covers, and do some housework.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini Moo-tastic

I succumbed to Moo again! They're just so much fun to make and have delivered. And any website that remembers your credit card details (like Amazon and Moo) is bound to be a winner. It's so easy to press the "one click" button just as you happen to be on the right (or wrong) side of indecision, et voila it's already on its way to you!
This time I opted for mini cards. I really love Lara Cameron's designs, and would love to have her material (definitely a rival with Amy Butler for my affections). I thought about making more postcards using her designs (and I still may) but it was too exciting to be able to choose fifty different designs (two of each) for the mini cards.
I really enjoy wrapping presents, so decided to use these as gift tags, and the range of colours and designs means I can colour coordinate with any wrapping paper.
You can choose font, colour and words for the back. I went for orange, in honour of Meg, of course. I'm looking forward to my next present-wrapping session.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I made pants!

These are my home-made pants! The Prototype, because I think I'll have to wear them out first before I decide whether the pattern needs adjusting.

They were really fun to make. I think next time I need to stretch the elastic trim more
before sewing it onto the fabric. I thought I'd stretched it quite a bit , but once I'd finished I realised I'd only stretched the elastic by a couple of inches and it could do with a bit more.

Also, I used normal thread, though I bought elastic thread. Might try the elastic thread next time. The pants are comfy and fit well, I'm just a bit concerned about breaking the thread when I'm pulling them on, in case I pull too hard. We'll see.

I'm not allowed to wear the pants until after Wednesday though, as my work mates all want to see the finished product and they were eager to stipulate that the pants shouldn't be worn before I brought them in! As if I'd take worn knickers into work and show them around!
I also did a staying stitch all the way round the edges, and next time I need to do that closer to the edge as you can just see it peeking under the elastic trim above. I finished the pants by trimming them with a little flower. Ah.

The weekend seems to go faster and faster. I could easily do the whole weekend again.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Shortbread and Pants

The last lot of shortbread I made disappeared rather quickly, so today I made some more. The first batch of shapes were giraffes and hearts, but unfortunately the giraffes didn't fare very well in the oven, being too skinny-legged and skinny-necked. I even set the oven at a lower heat and took them out two minutes early but they still burned. The next batch I did were cats and men, which were better. I was a bit disappointed, though I expect they'll end up tasting much the same. I used up every scrap of dough and got enough biscuits to fill my biscuit tub.
I think they look good inside the tub.

Yesterday on a complete whim, I went to Anglian Fashion Fabrics at lunchtime and bought material, trimming and elastic thread to make PANTS!

I've thought about making my own pants for years and never got round to doing anything about it. Last night I cut up a pair of old pants that are comfy, and sketched round them onto graph paper. I'm hoping to cut them out and sew them together later.
The fabric shop has a few bolts of fabric that would be suitable for making pants so if this is a success I'll make more. Might even extend to making vests as well.

For now though, I'm sitting on the couch, with my feet up, about to read a Famous Five book (for pure escapism) with Meg beside me covering her eyes (her way of telling us not to bother her) and her tail quivering as she dreams. The fire is lit, and it's Saturday.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Just Because She's So Beautiful

I love taking photos of Meg from different angles. I think the one above is pretty good (it's lovely having Meg next to me as I work, though if I make too much noise or move around too much she suddenly looks up and stares grumpily at me). I was just lining the camera up to do an even better-framed shot (extended arm filling the whole of the right side of the frame) when my camera battery packed up. Ah. I'm sure there will be many more photos of Meg to come.


To celebrate the very late payment of one of Hagos's invoices, we bought ourselves the above pack of millionaire's shortbread, which was absolutely delicious.
Of course, you can't take a photo round here (or read a book, or sit on the couch, or knit, or write on your laptop) without a certain ginger friend pushing her way into the action. Look at those lovely stripy legs.
Later on I made my own shortbread. I first made a batch of shortbread about three weeks ago, inspired by Janie's Christmas present. I looked at a few recipes in the cook books I have, and finally settled on Jane Brocket's book, Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer. I was won over by her saying she'd tried several shortbread recipes and this was the best one. We finally ran out of the last batch at the end of last week so yesterday I made some more. I really like the texture of this shortbread. I think it's down to the cornflower.

I started making yesterday's shortbread just before some friends were due to arrive, thinking I'd have time to at least get to the cookie-cutting stage, but the friends turned up just as I was trying to make the dough come together enough to roll, and I ended up having to add more butter because it was too crumbly. Anyway, the first time I made the recipe it was fine. Next time, definitely no chatting while making shortbread. It's also why they were about a minute and a half over-cooked. They still taste good though.
This is the view from Meg's cat flap this morning. Poor wee thing, she doesn't like the snow at all. She looks out the flap, and then looks back at us as if to say, "Can you please make the snow go away so I can go out?"

I went into the village to post my mum's birthday present this morning and everyone was quite jolly and chatty. I think so long as you don't have to go anywhere the snow is fun.

Anyway, time to get on. I'm two hours late for starting work today.