30 November 2008


on the eve of december i am heavily in to christmas gift research. tomorrow i really need to stop procrastinating and start the purchasing. along the way i'd like to share some ideas which will be mostly of the handmade variety...family and friends look away now!

waterstones have these wonderful penguin classics...with free uk delivery which saves on shopping bag arm ache.

delectably designed by coralie bickford-smith (which as an aside i have to say is such a lovely name) and as alan over on the penguin blog says so perfectly..."her ability to make books so desirable will turn her into a figure of hate during this economic downturn, as she renders people unable to resist buying elegant hardback books, when they should really be eating instead. I am hungry, Coralie! Please stop this! My infant child needs shoes! Coralie, I ate his shoes!"

i am a sucker for a good cover. and rather predictably these 2 are my favourites colour-wise...

(images courtesy of penguin)

29 November 2008


...a finished project!

here are a few photos of the baby quilt i made this week. after my initial befuddlement over how to understand the pattern instructions i just got stuck in and did my own version. i actually found the wording for the lap quilt design in the sew hip magazine a bit easier to follow so i borrowed a few tips along the way.

i really loved using the lightweight natural wadding...the quilting was great to do too. but the best bit was sitting by the fire and handstiching the binding last night.

i only wish i had a tumble dryer so i could have given it the full quilty treatment before packaging it up. i have read that's what you are supposed to do (do you?)...but i did pre-wash the fabric and then gave it a post-making wash for luck so it headed off nice and soft and scented to baby joshua.

the personalized label was made using these.

this is the card we sent along with the new quilt. it is inspired by a project in one of my precious copies of martha stewart baby magazine. i have made quite a few over the years for new babies but they're also good for any birthday...i think i have 3 more sagittarians lined up this month!

26 November 2008


this week i am attempting to make a cot quilt for a good friend's new baby. it's a version of the coin stack quilt from this book by joelle hoverson...which i really love. i just can not for the life of me seem to able to follow the instructions for the pattern though and so it's been...let's say...an organic experience...i have looked at the photo and tried to replicate as best i can. and it's not just the instructions in this particular book. for some unknown reason i can't grasp the concept of following patterns in general.

i do try. i really do. i am hoping that one day it will just click. especially as there are so many great ones out there. this magazine is full of them. this website has free ones!

23 November 2008


a snowy sunday has now turned in to a sunny sunday here so we are off out for some chilly fresh air to blow away the cobwebs. bosco insists on being left to snooze the day away. this is a headband that i've recently made for simone...festive colours and obligatory sparkle of course! x

17 November 2008


there's no getting away from it...two weeks today i'll most probably be about to go out and pick out our tree...yes i am a self-confessed-and-not-ashamed-to-say-it-early-decorator! it gets me in the groove for gift stitching + treat baking. and being in the company of fellow makers who can't leave it til the week before...now feels like the right time to start talking festive which so many have already.

since early november i've already been burning clove and orange oils...day dreaming of my card designs whilst serving the super-organised people who post their parcels by surfacemail at work...and so today i jumped in with both feet and made my first ever christmas cake. lynn...i know i should probably have consulted with you on this and done it the mary berry way but i had the urge and consulted my other cooking inspiration (nigel slater) how it will turn out i am not sure but a girl has to have a go and so i did. there may be updates at the marzipan and icing stages...all dependent upon whether the cake part works out of course!

i also saw these recipes yesterday in our paper for alternative festive cakes and i am truly tempted to try them out. clementine frosting? yes please nigel! a little later in december maybe...when i need fueling for the production line of sewing i have planned...oh and i guess for visitors too as they drop by ; )

and finally for today...a wip for our nephew noel's first christmas...a name like that just has to be on a stocking!

off now to attend to my patient with man-flu and get the fire lit for an evening of knitting and list making...

05 November 2008