17 July 2010


fabric for a big bed quilt...ours! this year has seen a conveyer belt of baby quilts work slowly through my sewing machine...i have some more to look forward to making at the end of the year when a new batch of 4 special bambinos are due to arrive. but for now i am looking forward to making my 1st grown up quilt. no doubt it will take me forever but i am quite happy to fit in a stitch here and there in order to finish up with something to snuggle under come the winter.

a while ago i made a couple of pillow slips for our bed. very simple. i was gifted the vintage fabric {so soft and i'm guessing 70's} and the colourway fitted in perfectly with my fairly new-found love for yellow. now that i don't have a great deal of time to get stuck into projects this brought me a hit of satisfaction and had me all happy to make the bed so that i could rest my head on the cool cotton print with a smile.

i bought the brilliant anna maria horner dobby dots pastry voile from super online fabric emporium saints and pinners. the tones are perfect. i've enjoyed a bit of wobbly sashiko...inspired by this post...check out a great tutorial too! for now i have no master plan but i'll pop back with updates. i know i'll be using a fairly lightweight cotton batting and would like to end up with something that'll sit aboard just the top of the bed.

and i have someone very happy to road test the result {she who now rolls on to her tummy to snooze!}

14 July 2010


jamie's recipe.
mary's plate...i just remembered i need to return it to you!

a bit of bedtime baking to eat today. i find it best these days to just wait until e is settled to sleep before i set to any recipe following. during the day it is just too tricky keeping one eye on her + the other on the oven. that said i managed to burn one tray of these sweet buns last night whilst trying to catch up on emails simultaneously. will i learn the lesson?

250g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
125g clear honey {i used eucalyptus}
2tsp finely grated lime zest
juice of 1/2 a lime
few drops of vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
25og s.r. flour

preheat oven to 190c/gas5. beat the butter + sugar until pale and creamy. beat in zest-juice-vanilla. still beating add the eggs slowly one at a time. then add the flour and beat gently to combine. bake in cases for about 15 mins until golden on top.

honey butter icing made with more unsalted butter {3tbsp} whisked up until very pale then gradually adding lime juice {3tsp} zest {2 tsp} and honey {125g} gradually so the mix doesn't split.

13 July 2010


there's a bit of l'amour in the air here. some friends just got engaged. my cousin is getting married next month. oh and i've been sorting through my wedding magazines which i romantically cling to...not for the want of another do but just because i fell in love with so many of the stories in them and can't bear to part with ideas that are a joy to flick through in a ringbinder.
these are a couple of my favourites. both ms naturally.

laura normandin {pictured top} has a blog which is just gorgeous too...i had no doubt that her wedding would be delectable. see the flags on their bicycles? and her lacey basket.oh my. then there's the groom's tie...awesome. more here.

tear sheet two is sophie + jason...you can find more here. in a vaguely stalkerish moment i just googled the bride to see if she may have a blog or website because i'm sure she has a creative background but i only found her on facebook. it seemed so weird to be able to just peek into someone's life like that uninvited...so i just took a little look! for me it's her dress that captures my heart...and those beautiful table linens. picking poppies for her own bouquet too and hydrangea petals tucked in her sandals. heavenly.

on my to do list. i'm going to wear something from my wardrobe instead of buying a new outfit...i can after all have fun picking something for the girl. a new headpiece may be in order though. crikey i'm even tempted to try to post a tutorial!

12 July 2010


our family in ireland were thrilled to see elsa. and we were so pleased to introduce her at long last to them since they'd only been able to make her acquaintance via the power of skype-facebook-email...which is no substitute for the real thing!

for me it was so sweet to see my c as a proud daddy showing off his wee girl to all his relatives. we had a great few days in holiday mode. trips to the sea. ice creams. lots of tea and chatter and laughter as there always is round the kitchen table at my in-laws.

but on the morning of our 4th day there i fed elsa some formula milk and she took a severe reaction to it. within about 20 minutes of her finishing the bottle we noticed hives appearing on the side of her face...then suddenly massive lumps on her head. my heart was racing with panic. when her lips and eyes and fingers started swelling we knew it was serious. we jumped in the car and drove straight to a+e.

that journey seemed a lifetime. in retrospect we probably should have called an ambulance but our instinct took us straight to the wheel. arriving at the hospital and elsa was horribly quiet and floppy. after a shot of adrenaline and oxygen we got an instant cry. and i can't tell you how happy we were to hear it.

so we were told it was an anaphylactic reaction. blood tests showed us later that it was due to an allergy to dairy. hard to understand when she had been exposed to it since birth through my breast milk and then ordinary formula but apparently what happened is that she built up a sensitivity to it that just came to a head that day. we had to spend two days in hospital and since then she has been on the mend.

for a while she was pretty unsettled though...i imagine going through something like that sets a little body back for a time. but today she is a very contented kitten again. we're now feeding her soya formula and have an appointment with an allergy specialist next week. it may be that we need to carry an epi-pen with us in the future but let's hope it's just for peace of mind and that we don't have to use it.

oh my. i guess we've learnt that life is going to be fretful as a parent...but as much as we are duty-bound to worry we also get to have our hearts melt on a regular basis with many giggles and gurgles and new tricks every day which is about as awesome as it gets!

no ice-creams at the beach for elsa this weekend! we start weaning next week when she'll hit the six month mark...looking forward to introducing her to new tastes and a spoon!


the good news first? or the bad?

i'm going to start with good. it goes in date order and it gives me a little longer to delay writing about our holiday drama.

last day of may. my birthday. and day one of our holiday road trip to ireland. we took things easy...packed a picnic for the journey and made a stop off in beaumaris on our way to catch the ferry from holyhead over to dublin. it had suddenly occurred to me the day before that we'd be driving a stones throw away from janet's gallery so i wrote a spontaneous email to see if she'd be about and hey presto the next day we went to meet the very lovely janet + her husband!

i have been in touch with janet through this network of blogs for a few years now and got to know quite a bit about her from reading her posts and exchanging emails. janet likened it to a grown up pen pal scenario. brilliant.

it felt funny-strange to be chatting and saying "oh yes i remember when you did that" or "i loved those shoes you bought" when we had never met in real life. but for me it felt like greeting an old friend too. she was just the same warm and sweet girl that i've got to connect with via my keyboard. sitting together in her back garden in the sunshine was pretty much the icing on the cake for my birthday. my normally shy self didn't feel one bit anxious about stepping out to say hello to her and i hope we'll get together again as we make more voyages over the sea over the years!

so if you ever get the chance to spend some time with a fellow blogger i would heartily recommend that you do. i suppose that the foundation is already there for these friendships through our little community online...and it still makes me so happy to sit and join in with this amazingly massive thing that exists through the internet.

ok. i will talk of the bad news part later. when i've got the laundry sorted!

clue :: it involves hospitals and our girl. {there is more good news though...she is ok now + napping in her own cot upstairs...but she gave us a big fright on holiday}

06 July 2010


it's fair to say it's been a while.

and i find myself about to write an epic post...but friends...i fear this would not be good for you nor me right now.

there is much to say about the highs + lows of june + early july. this evening though i am taking a simple step back to the land of blog...then a cup of tea has my name on it {unfortunately with a side order of ironing i might add!}

the subject :: have you tried these floral black teas?

i have to say that they are a true delight to sip. i have been all too fond of the coffee pot lately...topping up with {dare i admit it? oh just did then} instants to keep me perky when sleep hasn't been of the generous portions i dream of. so it is good to reacquaint myself with something a little more elegant in my day. rose garden is my favourite. perfect for now. a little bit english country garden twee...a little bit middle eastern exotic. i have tried it accompanied by both battenberg and a date...both are incredibly right.

i have been experimenting with the new design feature on blogger...have you been tempted? i am not too happy with my meddling ways and feel a compulsion to sit and get it properly sorted but that's a job {indulgence} for another evening.

hope you're all enjoying high summer. i'm looking forward to sharing nice tales of a real life meeting with another blogger...a summer ball...creations that i have actually finished stitching...japanese craft books to make you beam + how our wee girl continues to steal our hearts and break them a little more when she gets poorly. back soon folks. x