Monday 24 May 2010

Having been enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend and sitting on the deck more than of late, I realised that the covers to our chairs were in serious need of replacement...and quickly...we have guests, lots of them, coming at the weekend and as you can see, these really wouldn't do.

We have a To Do list longer than the longest thing on the longest day in preparation for this weekend. I'm knee deep in pompom and paper lantern making, as you well know, so you'd think way down on the agenda would be recovering the deck chairs.

Apparently not.

A swift run up to the studio to see what suitable fabric I had transpired in recovering in this lovely fabric. Although not long enough later (5 mins? maybe 10) and the little bottom in the house had already torn it. Apparently it wasn't strong enough.

Many frantic tweets later trying to source fabric that I could get in time to make some more suitable covers in time for the weekend, a light-bulb moment occurred. We bought the chairs from Habitat. Habitat do replacement covers. I could be there and back within an hour.

And I was. With 2 sunshine yellow and 2 smart charcoal grey covers. Thank heavens for a bit of sense and quitting whilst I was behind.

Friday 21 May 2010

... well why not head over to Me and Ma and sign up for their Fresh and Funky Quilt Block Bee! Maria and Julie from Forest Poppy were 2 comments too late for Fresh Modern Bee I and II so have decided to get together and start their own. Maria says on her blog: The Bee is to be called Fresh and Funky with an emphasis on modern, fresh quilting using bright fabrics balanced with neutrals and whites..Inspired by the likes of redpepperquilts, jaybirdquilts and of course lilysquilts...

so if you've been looking for/been thinking about/tempted by a Quilt Block Bee, head over there and check it out...

Good luck!
When Michelle announced on Twitter that a swatch pack of her new fabrics Beyond the Sea was now available, I think I'd clicked 'Basket' quicker than a quickest thing on a quickest day!

I have used several of Michelle's My Happy Garden fabrics in various projects and just love it. With her label Cloud 9 she produces the most beautiful soft, eye-catching fabrics, in the most stunning fresh designs. What's more they are made from organic cotton, thus providing a welcome eco-friendly element to them.

This new range is just delectable in every way. The fresh colours, stunning designs and touchy feely factor, make them top of my wishlist. Fortunately for us Brits, you can get them right here...

Race ya!

Thursday 20 May 2010

We had a busy night last night getting some BM decorations sorted...all aided by a few lovely girlfriends. Could it be they were tempted by the wine tasting going on too? Matthew came home with several bottles of white and bubbly to trial.

I don't think it was just this...they are very lovely ladies and we had lots of laughs sitting round the kitchen table making and fluffing pompoms. Not often you get the opportunity to do that, do you?!

I can't wait for them to go up in the marquee. I was inspired by seeing a virtual friend'd wedding piccies...thanks, Juliet, couldn't have done it without you!

Sunday 16 May 2010

After my new found love of making Log Cabins, my mind has been running over time on how to develop these further. This always happens to me...when I discover something new (to me) I am all consumed by it and can't think of anything else.

Consequently, even tho we are snowed under with BM plans, my mind was obsessing with log cabins and all the developments I want to do and I wasn't going to settle until I'd tried some of them out.

One of the things I have been thinking is how to incorporate log cabins with some personalising.

Again, as with the first, I got out a pile of my favourite fabrics and began to play. I use alot of hand screen-printed fabrics with my work. I love the added texture that they give and the rawness they exude. I am a big fan of the large posse of Australian designers that design and produce fantastic hand-printed fabrics and always want to use these wherever possible. They don't come cheap, but a little goes a long way, I think and in something like a log cabin you really don't need a large amount.

My starting point of part of an Auntie Cookie panel was a definite in my head before I'd even found it in my stash. It had this project written all over it. I love seeing pictures in log cabins (hence the birds on a wire in my first). I feel it adds a story to them.

Another obvious choice for this piece was from another of my favourite screen-printed fabric designers from the wonderful Lu Summers of Summersville designs. Her designs are perfect for log cabins as they tend to be small scale, so lots of detail. Lu also tends to use one colour, so again, not too clashing when using a variety of fabrics.

I haven't quite decided whether this is going to be the beginnings of an idea for a quilt, or cushions, or kept to wall-hangings. But for now I was eating into too much BM time and a little wall-hanging for Ruby was where it had to stay...despite the fact that Ruby wasn't best pleased that I had to miss the final 'h' off Shoshanah because I'd run out of room...she thought I'd spelt her name wrong!

Friday 14 May 2010

We are just 2 weeks away from one of the biggest events in our little family's life... Sam's Bar Mitzvah is scarily close. As a Jewish Mother, I knew 13 years ago that we would one day be here. But come on, 13 years is a long time. it shouldn't be here yet, should it?

Apparently it is. On the one hand I am excited beyond belief. Sam has worked incredibly hard over the last year to learn all he needs to learn and be ready for this big coming of age ceremony. And to be at a milestone that I have watched in awe of others doing their Bar Mitzvahs, is quite mind-blowing, let me tell you.

On the other hand I am completely overwhelmed by how much has to be done. Whilst Sam has been in charge of the religious side, someone round here has had to get going on the celebrations. I've never tackled anything quite so big...Friday night dinner for the immediate family...Saturday lunch for 50 extended family...a party for 70 close friends Saturday night... oh and the big shebang of 200 on Sunday night. Whilst I personally am not cooking, there is still plenty to do.

And as we well know, I am not going to be buying any decorations or hire someone else to do it for me. What's the point in being crafty if you can't get immerse yourself in something like this? (My sister-in-law did put me in my place when I suggested making Whoopie Pies for 70 on Saturday night)

Even though I have had 13 years to get ready for this, I am just beginning to get going on all the finer details. 2 weeks? Plenty of time! I've been collecting ideas over the last few months and having found this great little tutorial for paper lanterns from here via here, I started to give them a go.

How fab are they? And what a great use of my oodles of left over Orla wallpaper. I can see them in glass bowls on the table, strewn with ribbon over EVERYWHERE and laid in rows in other places. I have grand ideas for these little babies in all sorts of different designs.

The next 2 weeks is going to be pretty full on so I may disappear for a little while. If you don't see me around much, I may well be found under a pile of papers, lists, decorations...

Thursday 13 May 2010

Last night I had a 5 minute flick through one of my crafting books, whilst waiting for the kettle to you do...and was inspired by one of the projects of a log cabin quilt.

I've flicked through this book umpteen times and seen numerous log cabin cushions and quilts. Whilst I've loved looking at them I've never considered making one. Sometimes you just have to wait for the right moment to be inspired.

It seems that this was the right moment because as soon, as I saw this particular one, I had a light-bulb moment of wanting to make one and I couldn't get to bed fast enough so that it would be morning quickly and I could get going!

I've been wanting to do some more cushions for the living room. Bigger ones this time, so this seemed perfect. For those that haven't made a log cabin before, I can not tell you how wonderful they are to do. For those that have, you know exactly what I mean. From choosing the fabrics, to cutting the strips, to piecing it all out and seeing it grow is such a joy.

Because I was loving seeing it grow so much, I couldn't stop! I got to the size of a largish cushion that I wanted, but I just couldn't stop there. So it is no longer a cushion...but a wall-hanging.

I am now buzzing with ideas for more log cabin pieces, so I think that cushion will come eventually.

Wednesday 12 May 2010

I picked up the latest Sainsbury's magazine this week and if ever there was an irresistible sight, here it was on the front cover.

And then with the title...'Let's make Whoopie!', I just had to break with our birthday Malteser Cake tradition and make a batch for my big boy's birthday today.

The question was, which flavour? Personally I would have gone with the Lemon Cream. Or the Passion Fruit was mighty tempting.

But I wasn't brave enough to break from tradition altogether, so chocolate it was. They were exceedingly pleasingly received, so much so that noone muttered the M word. Think I may even get away with a lemon variety next time.

Fancy making a little whoopie yourself?

Monday 10 May 2010

I woke up to winter this morning, which is mightily disappointing. Especially since we'd been teased with a bit of warmth yesterday and even managed to sit on the deck. Albeit momentarily, but a presence none-the-less.

I had to make my own sunshine today as a consequence and have added another colour to the peg bag range. It sure is bright and summery!

It seems to have done the trick, however, as now the sun has got it's happy little hat on. Long may it stay.

Friday 7 May 2010

Drum roll please...time to announce the give-away winners...

The first winner and recipient of the £20 Saints and Pinners' Voucher is...

Number 48...Aimee from Live, Lush, Laugh...Congratulations Aimee!

The second winner and recipient of Scribble Mug and Wash Mitt from Illustrated Living is...

Number 16...Pauline...Congratulations Pauline!

And finally, winner of a Peg Bag by moi is...

Number Kirsty from Me Plus Molly...congratulations Molly!

Oscar-style thank yous...thank you all so much for entering and showing your support for my blog. I really do appreciate it.

An equally big thank you to Jo and Fran from Saints and Pinners and Rosie and Chris from Illustrated Living for your generous prizes.


I just want to leave you with will soon be turned into something BIG...think you know what? All will be revealed soon...

Thursday 6 May 2010

I love red. I love a red and aqua combo. Having redecorated the house in greys/teals/mustards red doesn't seem to fit in too well now.

However I do bring it into the kitchen. On last week's Ikea trip I picked up this fab piece of oilcloth. At first I had in mind that it was going to be a mucky activity protector, but having put it out yesterday for Noah's birthday tea I've decided it's far too nice for that.

With a few blooms picked from the garden and the most perfect napkins to accompany it, I am very happy to find a place where red works in my home.

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Thank you so much for taking the time out to enter my give-away and writing such lovely things. It's fab to meet some of you that have obviously been reading for some time but never commented before. So great to hear from you.

Please do make sure tho that, should you win, I have a way of letting you know. If you haven't already done so, please can you make sure I have an email you so I can get in touch? I'd hate to not be able to let you know!

I'll be drawing on Friday 12pm GMT so if you haven't already done so, you've still got time... It's right here.

In the meantime...some pretty fabric to show you.

I'd been meaning to buy some of V & A's stunning limited edition fabrics for a while and just got around to it last week. I think you will agree that I have been quite restraint by just buying 4. Well, it gives me an excuse to go back for more...

If you haven't already bought some for yourself, you really must have some of these in your stash. Go on. It's easy...just click here.