Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Don't Panic

Telephone conversation on Monday:

"Hello is that Claire?"
"this is the school, please don't panic, but your son has hit his head and needs to go to A+E" (accident and emergency at the hospital or ER)

Don't panic!!!! Your son needs to go to A+E for emergency treatment!!! Great, just what I needed!

(not my son)

I get to the school and my son has on a similar sized bandage on his head, a bit larger if anything and is lying down on the floor with his feet up looking pale. I suspect I was looking pale as well at this point!

I get him in the car, with my youngest in toe as well, FINALLY get through to my husband, pick him up from work and off we go to A+E.

All in all, we were at the hospital for 1.5 hours, which isn't bad. There was another child in school uniform with exactly the same injury!

My son's forehead was glued back together and little strips of plaster to hold it all in place. No TV or computer for 24 hours and no PE/ playtime for a week.! Not an easy thing for a 5 year year old!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

New Craft- Dare I?

You know when you've read lots of blogs over a long period of time and at first you are not interested in crochet or paper cutting, and you think that's nice enough but where's the sewing (please insert your interest here!).

image courtesy of Ellen Brown

As time goes on those seeds of interest start to be planted in your head.

And do you say, no, I have enough on already (my family like to know how I can fit in sewing, knitting, baking, cake decoration plus going to work, children, housework and family time!) or do you give into your desire and think, all I need is some paper, a scalpel and cutting mat!

image courtesy of Ellen Brown

I might just do a one off attempt, for a Valentine's Day card for my husband. I found these 2 designs here. I may have to blame angry chicken and a little hut for raising this interest in me.

Hen House may be in trouble with my husband if I take up crochet!!! She makes it look so easy, and she has only just learnt!! Very inspirational.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Talented Chap

Just thought I'd showcase some photos, taken and manipulated by my husband! He wants his flickr stats to rise!!! He's desperate for a photo on the front page! Please make his day!!!


At the weekend, my husband and I went to London to go and see the Babylon exhibition at the British Museum.
The bulk of the artefacts came from British Museum London, the musée du Louvre and the Réunion des musées nationaux, Paris, and the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin.
The exhibition explored the stories and myths that surround Babylon looking at the evidence to decide whether they are true. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Tower of Babel to name a few, it was an interesting exhibition, although many of the exhibits are already on show at the museum.

I would say the British Museum is possibly the best museum in London. It is absolutely world class in terms of the artefacts that it holds, from ancient civilisations to more recent times.

There was also another exhibition on of contemporary sculpture dotted around the museum, which were really good, and all very different from each other.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Clothkits Parcel

This is what came the other day:
Beautifully wrapped;
Exciting interior articles;

Dotty ribbon;

Everything I need to get going;

An amazing screenprint of a well designed skirt by artist Rob Ryan;

See a little closer;

Straightforward instructions;

Plus my Trellick Tower seconds, which is very good for a second.

All damage very subtle and barely noticeable.

Can't wait to sew!!!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Beautiful Books

Over Christmas and a treat to myself I received the following gorgeous books:
Eric Lanlard's Glamour Cakes
This book is more about making delicious cakes with sophisticated decoration. It's not an out and out cake decorator's book, more at the level of a top quality patisserie/ cake shop. Eric is a top French patissier, although he lives and works in London, UK. This is a great book to push me up a level or 3 in baking!

Ellisa Straus' Confetti Cakes for Kids
This book is such fun, will I ever achieve any of these cakes, I don't know, but they are very inspiring, and I do take elements of her designs to put into my own cakes for my children. My eldest is 6 soon, and has requested the Monster Cake on the front!!!! It looks AMAZING and the step by step guide is VERY LONG!!!! Want to do it, but I need to be realistic!

Anna Maria Horner's Seams to Me
What a beautiful book, especially for a first time sewer, with the level of information in the first section of the book. I find this information very helpful, as projects you do from other sources might not give you all the info you need, so I use these sewing books as much as reference guides as much as to make the projects.

My eyes have told me to make the taxi tote, the patchwork I want all of those bag, possible the wall hanging, the play along quilt (I have an idea of doing a block here and a block there, so it's a long term project with no rush to it!) Possibly the dress cover bag, and the fabric cube storage.

Quite a lot there then!

The patterns are in the back, fantastic, and it's all spiral bound so the book will not get damaged as your hold the pages open. Plus the graphic design is wonderful, with fabric designs around the page borders. The steps are highlighted if they have a diagram associated with it. Plus loads of colour and design advice for each project.

This is a very well thought out book. Should be an example in how to do it for other pattern book writers.

(pics next week, in-laws here!)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Mosaic Magic

I know, I know that I'm the last to work this out, but via Flickr you can do cool mosaics with your images! Find the software here.

I'm sure I'll be having lots of fun... and those cakes are making me hungry!

Slumdog Millionaire

Last night, I went with a friend to see Slumdog Millionaire, which is a fantastic film, based on a novel Q & A, by Vikas Swarup. It's made by Danny Boyle (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, The Beach etc) and is absolutely fantastic. It's a rags to riches story of a boy born in the slums on Mumbai (Bombay), India and his turn on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and how his survival through life enables him to answer the 10 questions. He's branded a cheat, and has to justify his knowledge to the local police. It's so engaging and is as much a love story as the story of him winning the show.
It's certainly very popular at my local cinema, as I went on Monday and the film was sold out!
On a different note: The quilt has puckered up slightly and my eldest boy went to sleep with it. He is always enthusiastic about anything I make, and always wants them for himself!
My sister has also kindly put in an order for a quilt as well. Her husband likes to keep cool, so I find their house cold when I go over, so I can see that a quilt would be useful to her! We'll work out a design when she comes over in February for a week!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Something New

I have spent far too long admiring other people's quilts. I even went as far as buying the Last Minute Patchwork and Quilt Book by Joelle Hoverson, which has some wonderful modern quilts in it.
I prefer more modern designs, I'm not that keen on dark, heavy looking quilts covered with patchwork stars, although I appreciate the effort that goes into making them.

So when I saw a "beginner" quilt design in Sew Hip, Issue 1, I decided to have a go.

All in all it went relatively smoothly. I did a few hours here and there, some before Xmas, then I finished it off last week, with a few hours each day from Wednesday onwards. The hand sewing of the binding took 3 nights while watching films, 2 of the films had subtitles, so I was watching more film than sewing!
I used Moda's Swell range by Urban Chicks and the apple fabric from Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market. It was fun to use a charm pack for the centre, and certainly took a lot of the hassle out of all the cutting. I also had to order a new Big Foot sewing machine foot so I could do the meandering style of quilting. The wait was worth it, as it was such fun to be able to travel across the fabric with such ease.

I love the back, as much as the front. The front is very girly, not my husband's taste, but it's nice to have some more feminine things around at times! The next quilt I'll do will fit in more with our combined aesthetic. And probably a king size one. This is a lap quilt, so quite small.

It's currently in the wash, hopefully shrinking slightly for that lived in look!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy New Year

Look what I discovered in my latest edition of Sew Hip! Clothkits.

Basically the skirt pattern is already printed on the fabric, so all you do is cut out and sew. Apparently they were around in the 70s, and although my mum sewed and made clothes, I don't remember anything like this! The only thing is, it's not that cheap. So, is it worth it? They have a range of children's clothes, which are gorgeous. But not v cheap!

I'm thinking of making the red and yellow skirt, it's 1/2 price, at £24, so worth seeing what they are like?

I do like this Trellick Tower skirt. Quite different, but in a good way!

If you've made Clothkits either decades ago or more lately let me know!

Here is a video witha better explanation of who they are!

Tutorial for girl's dress, part one and part two.