Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Sprinkling of Snow

This is my Tuesday Photo, just taken, on my way into work.

Brighton finally has a small scattering of snow. The rest of the country appears to be drenched in the stuff, but here in the sunny south, we have, so far, got off very lightly.

I do love this plant, especially in winter. It doesn't seem to capture my attention in the summer. Is it Dogwood? I'm not sure, I should probably ask my dad, who is pretty knowledgeable about these things.

Well wherever you are today, I hope the weather is to your liking!

Final Final Reminder: www.stevenoake.zenfolio.com get your 30% off with some Autumn Cheer - CODE: Autumn30.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Holiday Ideas

I do plan on doing a tiny bit of making, but that is looking more and more impossible as the weeks go on. I d want to do a tutorial for you guys, but it might all be getting a bit late, for you and me! I have though made a Christmas Cake for my husband using Rachel Allen's recipe (same one I used as last year) Of course now I have crystallised stem ginger in my cupboard that I'm supposed to do what with?? Any recipes using that would be most appreciated!

On the buying front I was in the city today and just on Sydney Street I found these lovely things in the IO Gallery.

lovely glass coasters, in a variety of colours by Lorraine Cole £10
Some great prints and original paintings. These two caught my eye:

Brighton Twittering by Kim Glass - the map in the ones in the shop was of Brighton. £90 framed.

First on the Beach by Ed Boxall. I am very drawn to this, as it reminds me of my sons on the beach. £40 unframed/ £70 framed.

And some books from Dave's Comics, also on Sydney Street for the comic book and anime lovers:

We are big fans of Studio Ghibli films in this household. Film4 often shows them. They are really worth checking out. Howl's Moving Castle is absolutely brilliant, with the young heroine being cursed by a witch and being turned into an old lady. She has to find a way to break the curse with the help of Howl, Calcifer (the talking fire) and the castle. All good stuff.

Final reminder, just a few more days to get your prints with the 30% discount. Code: AUTUMN30.

If it's snowing where you are, stay safe. As yet it hasn't hit Brighton. But that did not stop me from buying some Yaktrax. I'll let you know if they are any good, once I see some snow and ice!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Last Hurrah

My geraniums are still going, despite the frost. I'm grateful for
their resilience.

It's a lovely zing of red on the ever increasing grey days. I am
happy to take colour from wherever it comes from.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Autumnal Cheer

For all my lovely readers, I have managed to press-gang my compliant husband into arranging a super duper offer. (This might come in useful for some Xmas presents). I'd take advantage quickly before he comes to his senses - he's a Yorkshireman.

So for the next 2 weeks (until the end of November) you can get a whopping 30% off his Landscape and Abstract prints from his website. All you need is the code: AUTUMN30

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Tuesday Morning

This might be the start of a semi regular feature, Tuesday morning.

It's really what I see on my way to work, a reflection of the changing seasons and weather.

Today was the first frost I have seen since last winter. That probably means my geraniums on my balcony will not be lasting much longer! Feel free to join in and send me your link.

Monday, 15 November 2010

sewing table - woo hoo!

Apologies for the picture heavy post.

But here is my new sewing table. All keen followers of my blog will know that I have been looking into a suitable sewing table for a long time. so I will talk you through it and give you my opinion. I ordered it without seeing it in person, but the Horn Website has videos on it, which was instrumental in helping me make my mind up.

This is the Horn Hideaway 33. Despite every website that sells it saying it has a 28 day delivery, it came in a week, and with the correct cut out for my machine.

So this is it as a table, which is an ok size.

And from above. You can see the grooves, where the 2 table top pieces join. If I wanted to lay a pattern out and copy it, I'd have to be mindful of those grooves.

This is the upper table piece being raised up, to fit the sewing machine in. It has a very smooth action. You can raise it via those black screws, so it fits in line perfectly.

This is the plastic insert that fits around my machine.

The machine in situ.

As you can see the plastic insert and upper table, extends the sewing machine, giving more support to the fabric as I sew. This is especially useful for quilts, as they get very heavy.

The plastic insert has a ruler on it, which is handy.

I have already used it as I'm sewing a quilt at the moment. I have found the table to be really sturdy and well made. It is easy to open up and down, and I couldn't be more pleased. Now all I have to do now, is create a space for it in our spare bedroom. It's currently in our hallway, which has no natural light.
I would definitely recommend this. It also comes in wood, but I thought white would be easier to see the true colour of fabric on.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

jewelled delights

It was my birthday on the 5th November, and my sister made for me these wonderful necklaces and bracelets. They all came wrapped beautifully inside the box above.

I love this simple, classic purple and silver necklace. Not the best photo, but it looks great in reality.

Take a look at these amazing orange, red and brown beads for my autumnal beaded necklace. My sister has done an amazing job sourcing all these cool beads. I love the middle bobbly bead above!

And look at the opulence of those red and gold beads, fantastic. Somehow, I have failed to take a photo of the entire thing, but it's brilliant, trust me.
This is my silver charm style bracelet, which I love. Great day or night, sufficiently sparkly for either time! I especially love the super glittery balls and the hammered silver hearts.
This is my blue glass beaded bracelet. Again photo issues, so expect to see this again soon! It's so nice though.
Here is my blue disc necklace, which i have round my neck as I type! A Grecian feel to it maybe?

This is my blue beaded necklace, again, beads that are good enough to eat!

A further close up of yumminess.
I think my sister has made some gorgeous pieces for me. She has sourced some amazingly beautiful beads from around the globe. I believe she may start an online shop. If you want to encourage her, send me a comment and I'll pass them onto her!
My jewellery box is now overflowing!
UPDATE: I should clarify, my sister is looking at selling jewellery that she makes (not individual beads)

Thursday, 11 November 2010


I am not in hiding but somehow life has got very busy again! Lots to
share and show, not least my brand new Horn Hideaway sewing table that
arrived yesterday. I'm super excited. See you later today.


Sent from my iPhone - I'm blogging on the go!

Monday, 8 November 2010


My lovely sister made this bracelet for my birthday. I really love
it. She also made some necklaces as well which I shall photograph and
show you soon.

I love the hipstamstic app too much I think!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

sunday lunch

The traditional British Sunday lunch is Roast Beef, Yorkshire Puddings, Roast Potatoes and lots of vegetables with gravy and is very popular indeed. Although being vegetarian the Roast Beef is left off the plate!

So although that might not be my favourite line up of food, the tradition of having a fine Sunday lunch is certainly one I am happy to go along with. My sister and her husband were here for the weekend, and as a treat and a part celebration of my birthday and their visit we all went out to lunch.

I chose the lovely Bills, which is a famous Brighton restaurant. It's the perfect place for family and friends, but a word for the wise, get there early, as the queues are long. We did arrive reasonably early (11.40ish) but with 6 of us we had a fairly long wait. However, we were expecting that. It's open all day, so there was a lot of people having a Sunday breakfast (another popular Sunday tradition which should be indulged every now and then!)

The restaurant were kind enough to give us free drinks as they thought we were waiting too long (it was about 45mins) but we didn't mind. We were chatting and enjoying ourselves. And the children were playing games on our i-phones!

We ended up sitting in their small upstairs area, but you get a good view of downstairs and the busy hubbub going on. I love their rafia and tissue paper hanging up to decorate. Also the walls packed full of things to buy, chutneys, olive oils, balsamic vinegar etc.

I chose the Meze dish which was lovely and very filling. It has Houmous, Olives, Baba Ganoush, Cucumber Salad, and another salad with toasted bread .

As it was my birthday I had a Pavlova with fruit, far too much cream and a berry coulis. It was good!

It was a lovely way to have Sunday lunch, I thoroughly recommend it!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

piecing together the pieces

So this is what I have been up to:

The yellow quilt piece is the back of my Midwest Modern quilt, I was just using up all the scraps of fabric I had.

Below is my Castle Peeps quilt, front and back.

When it will all get quilted together I don't know. I will do the Castle Peeps one first. I have everything ready for that, the batting and binding.
I hope you have a lovely weekend and are enjoying the fireworks. We went to a display last night, which was great, as the 5th is my birthday!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Brighton Artists Open Houses

The Christmas Artists Open Houses is back on, it started last weekend, will be on this weekend and the 11th and 12th December.

This is a great way to find lovely gifts and support local artists. Plus it's a great to have a nose around people's houses!

There is a flickr group as well here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

homemade home

Kirstie's Homemade Home is back on TV and I thought I would do a quick review, as it's a slightly different format to the first series. The first series should Kirstie learning new crafts to decorate her "Meadowgate" home with. It was quite in depth with seeing how you do blacksmithing, knitting, stained glass window making etc.

This time Kirstie is helping a different family a week. So the first family had an amazing 6 bedroom Victorian house that they had bought 18 months ago and it needed a lot of T+C. As this programme wasn't DIY SOS, Kirstie ignored the kitchen and bathroom, and focused on their hallway and a study/ office.

So with a trip to a huge second hand market and a salvage yard, period furniture and fittings were picked up.

The couple got to make some wrought iron bookends, a stained glass window for their door and some lovely curtains.

Kirstie met crocheting/ knitting legend Erika Knight, who had a tiny bit of screen time. Erika seemed to do all the work, crochet wasn't coming naturally to Kirstie last night!

The couple's hallway and study looked fantastic after they had renovated and decorated it with all their newly made things, and vintage furniture.

All in all there was so much crammed in, nothing was covered in as much detail as the first series.

I believe that Manda from Treefall blog is featured in the series as an expert. I'm not sure what project she is doing, but that'll be nice to see her in "real life". It's great that there is a mainstream craft programme on primetime TV, I'm sure it's very inspiring to a lot of people.
On the site is a sweet knitted house tea cosy tutorial.
All photos courtesy of Channel 4.
My brother in law, ran the 10k, at the weekend. He did it in an impressive 1hr15mins. And has raised well over his £100 target to cancer Research.
I was too tired to quilt last night, so piccies should be on here soon!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

At the weekend we went to Portsmouth to the Historic Dockyard. It's the home of the Royal Navy, and it has a load of old warships to go on, plus the Mary Rose Museum (who remembers the Mary Rose being brought up and shown on Blue Peter in 1982?)

We went on HMS Warrior 1860 and saw a gun demonstration by an ex Naval seaman called Knocker Wilkins (or something!) I love the naval names, as soon as you join the navy you seem to lose your first name and get a new nickname that stays with you for the rest of your life.

We also had a tour of HMS Victory, the warship that Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson fought the Battle of Trafalgar on in 1805, and where sadly he lost his life. They brought his body back to England is a brandy barrel, nice!

The children loved Action Stations which is a building full of hands on things for children (and adults) to do. You can fly a Merlin Helicopter, shoot and enemy missiles, do the Ops Room, I think you get the picture.

We also had a boat trip, which is the Harbour Tour. You get to see all the naval ships/ subs that are in port.

All in all the day was a big success. We didn't do everything, but as the ticket lasts a year, you can return and finish the tour off!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Castle Peeps

The Lizzy House Castle Peeps fabric finally came on my son's birthday. It is just as sweet in person as I had hoped.

I have already cut it up and pieced it together. Front and back! That is how quick and easy that pattern is. All I need to do now is add the batting, then quilt it and bind it . Then the job will be done. I notice that Lizzy House did a variety of quilting styles on her one, I'm not sure I'll follow suit, I might just stick to one style only.

Just so you don't think I've forgotten my other quilt (Midwest Modern one) I've also been piecing the back together as well. Hopefully I'll finish the back tonight .

I shall reveal all soon. Happy sewing!