Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Guilty Pleasures

I think the picture says it all!

This is, to the uninitiated, a waffle (made using my new machine) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce!!! I restrained my family at just 1 per person!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Good Times

Firstly, I must apologise as I did not take my camera out with me at the weekend. Photo below is stolen from my husband! It shows Brighton from a distance.

It was a gloriously hot and sunny weekend, here in the UK (well in Brighton for sure). The kind of day where the most important thing is to find a good way of keeping cool.

Luckily we have the sea, a mere 20-30min walk away (possibly longer with both children). On Saturday, after a noisy and excitable start, I managed to round my two up and leave the house. How do people cope with more than 2 children? We first went to the park, I let them have a good run around. Then we had to head back home, grab lunch, then off we went to the beach.

We met up with a good friend of mine, and her two children. The children all went in the sea. There were no squeals of "it's too cold", it clearly was the right temperature for them. Personally I wouldn't have minded a dip, but I did not have my swimming costume with me, and I don't feel in the best shape at present to strip off!

After that we went to the children's paddling pool, which is on the beach as well (just by Al Fresco restaurant, and west of the West Pier!) It gets so busy there. When my children were younger, it was slightly scary on a busy day, as it is so easy to lose sight of your child. Now they are elder, my 7 year old really looks after the 3.5 year old, it is fine. This is very handy, and means I can relax a little bit! We were all so tired after our day out, that we took the bus home. Oh yes, and watched the last episode of DOCTOR WHO. We are a hooked family. My eldest could not believe it when they said the next episode will be at Christmas (6 months away!)

We did it all again on Sunday, got up, and headed straight down to the beach. I made a packed lunch for us this time. The boys had a great time. I bought them water squirters, they look like giant syringes! Lots of children had them.

I also finished reading a very arresting and moving book, called "Brixton Beach" by Roma Tearne. I would highly recommend it. It follows a Sri Lankan girl, whose parents emigrate with her to England due to the civil unrest in Sri Lanka. You follow all of her family (4 generations) and it's very moving. Again highlighting a conflict in a deeply personal way. I find this a better way to learn about things, as it becomes far more real. I would highly recommend it! Now I just need to find another cracking good read, any suggestions?

Quilt Update: I got round to trimming all the patchworked pieces, for the back, down to the same width! I did it while the children watched "Fantastic Mr Fox". They were engrossed. I'm not in a rush with this quilt. I'm making it just to use up all my scraps of the Midwest Modern range by Amy Butler. The quilt was dictated by all the shapes and sizes of fabric I had to work with. It will be a single bed size though, when I finally finish off the back.

Monday, 21 June 2010


We have had a wonderful weekend, I hope you did as well. We all drove to Norfolk on Saturday, as my husband had a meeting with a bride and groom, whose wedding he will be photographing next weekend. It is quite an exciting wedding, as it's not the traditional ceremony, that we all know. They are having a hand fastening, in the open air, in this lovely opening in a woodland, with arches made of branches, and lovely small marquees. There will be a harpist, a jester, to entertain, a kaleigh, and if the air is still Chinese lanterns! I will not be there, but I certainly look forward to viewing the photos.

On the way back, to make a day of it (the weather was a bit variable, sun, wind and rain) we saw one of those brown attraction road signs on route, that said World Horse Welfare. So we thought, why not. It's always a risk, as you can never be sure quite how many miles your detour will take to get you to your surprise venue. Luckily, the Horse farm was straight off the main road, in a beautiful setting. There is a visitor centre (which still had the heating on! heaven), a cafe, and an indoor training room for the horses. We were lucky enough to witness a horse being trained in how to walk, trot, cantor etc.

a very friendly horse

We also walked around the stables (all immaculate and clean) and the paddocks (again, in beautiful condition). They are a charity that rescues badly treated horses, and they rehabilitate them, and get them healthy again. They also loan out their horses, which is where I presume they make a lot of their money to run the charity with. All the horses in the stables had their stories and photos on a board, and some were found in absolutely horrific circumstances. The horses were now unrecognisable, as they looked so fit and healthy, with beautiful coats. They also help horses around the world, and train people in how to make saddles, and what is and is not suitable for a horse to wear, pull and do. We were all very impressed.

Then on Sunday, which was Father's Day, we all had a lazy morning. I made waffles for brunch, which everyone loves with maple syrup. I use a recipe from Rachel Allen's Bake book, which is a baking book that I would highly recommend. Everything that I have made from it has come out beautifully, and tastes great.

I took the children to the park twice. Once, after waffles but before lunch, and then again in the evening, when we all went, including their dad!

our eldest enjoying the best of the summer days

The rose garden is at its most magnificent this time of year. I find the roses stunning. I love the deep pink roses. The scent from the flowers is intoxicating. The parks have made a map of all the roses within the garden, so if one takes your fancy, you can find out what it is and purchase it from a nursery.

All in all it was a great weekend. My husband is working flat out at the moment, setting up his photography business, and with work as well.

I hope your weekend was a good as ours!

Photos by my dearest hubby.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Quilty Pleasures

Finally a brand new quilt shop in Brighton. The nearest one is in Lewes, so this is great news.

It is called, as you may have guessed, Quilty Pleasures, and is in walking distance from my house! Marvellous!

I'm determined to support it, with the little money I have, as what a great resource to have. I'm pleased to say that Liz, the owner, is really friendly and approachable. And has some lovely modern fabric in her shop. I'm sure over time her stock will increase. It can't be cheap setting up a shop. But she's knowledgeable and really lovely.

They are having an opening party:

Quilty Party
12th June 2010 All day!

So if you can go along!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

3 down....

Over the Bank Holiday I was left alone, and I got down to some serious sewing!

My first job was to sew the quilt that had been on hold for a long while. I had cut up the fabric c6 months ago, and what with one thing and another it had sat in a cupboard, waiting patiently for me.

So the fabric used was left over (from what?!!?) Amy Butler Midwest Modern that I have had for 2-3 years, I think! Given the sizes and amounts that I had of each pattern I had to be creative with how I was using it.
The quilt needs some more fabric (plain) to bulk out the back and around the edge of the front. I'm making it to fit a single bed. But it's just a quilt for our house collection, not for a particular person or room. I'm just glad I'm using up my scraps .
My next project is part of a leaving present that I am putting together for a friend who is leaving the city, and country, and moving back to her home country of Canada. I have a few projects that I want to make for her. The first I one that I did was make her some coasters from the Last Minute Patchwork and Quilting book, by Joelle Hoverson, using some Brighton inspired fabric, with the pier and the pavilion on it. I was pleased with how these came out.

The other project that I made, successfully, was an A-Line skirt from a Burda pattern, that I bought. I used a Heather Bailey Zig Zag fabric, that I bought 1-2 years ago!
Apologies for the picture below, taken in a total rush, with not much light! I just wanted to prove that I had finished it!

I also made toiles of a few dresses from Sew U Dresses and Chic and Simple Sewing, I'm glad I did as they definitely need adjustments, I'm not sure if I can be bothered to do that!
So, hopefully, I'll finish off the quilt over the next few weeks. I'll use what material I have in my stash to make a few more presents for my friend. I am all about stash busting at the moment!
It was a very sewing intensive weekend, which was nice. It's quite rare I can do something like that! I also plan on finishing off some skirts that I started in 2009!! I know I know! Everything takes its time!