Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rainbow bright (but no gween icing!)

Anna is 5. I was really chuffed with this cake it was a lemon sponge so tasted pretty darn yummy too and it was soooo easy- also brown Smarties are my favourite so you can see the added bonus for me! If you are wondering why Anna is half naked for her birthday tea it is because Daddy bought a hugely impractical and very cheap paddling pool as part of her birthday present and of course it was just about the biggest hit with the kids cavorting for hours!

Anna hasn't been the only one receiving gifts though, I took part in a 'where you live' swap organised my the fabulous antipodean. I received from Wonderwoman, which I knew would be a treat because I have been lucky enough to receive from her before. Maria went to town with hearts- and I'm so pleased she did. I have just posted a group shot here because the handmade lovelies have inspired and will form the backbone to the decorations for the wedding reception (in LESS THAN THREE WEEKS!!!!!!). So there will be more pictures of Maria's handiwork but it will be taken in situ at the big event! There was a really cute tiny book enclosed in the parcel which has given me some chuckles and actually some food for thought; 'Don'ts for Wives' from 1913. I plan to quote from this regularly so here is gem no.1; 'Don't moralise by way of winning back the love that seems to be waning. Make
yourself extra charming and arrange delicious dinners which include all your husband's favourite dishes'

I sent to Jo in Tas for my part in the swap and made a parcel based on all things English, or at least what English means to me. Lots of lavender and rose fragrances here. I bought a couple of elements, the needle case from a craft fair and the bag was made by Mum from a charity shop find of some vintage embroidered napkins. I made the large lavender pillow with paper piecing and could have seen more coming up if I wasn't so damn stressed out and busy with the wedding!
Off now to make myself charming and work out what tasty morsel I can offer my fiance this evening to make sure his love doesn't wane whilst I whirl around in a frenzy of bunting,coaster,lavender sachet,knitting and cake baking!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

hex-log-crazy work

The time rolls along and the course tick list slowly fills up with, well ticks. This time I shall be merrily ticking off paper piecing, log cabin and crazy patchwork. I know that I would struggle with the accuracy required for 'proper' patchwork. My points just don't meet, I think it has something to do with the way I use my machine- for F=A=S=T, I zoom with little thought for accurate or even straight seams so it was nice to slow down and hand sew the papered hexagons. I was pleased that it didn't actually take forever to paper piece and that it was very mobile and pick-up and put-downable. More to come? I'm not sure, but when the need calls for it it won't be a technique I cringe at the thought of.

I think logcabin could actually be a whole life's work, fiddling around with different effects, tones, patterns scales. I don't mind the constant ironing, I like the thrifty nature of the beast- using up the odds and ends. I love that the centre square should always be red to represent the warm hearth at the heart of the log cabin.I'm not a rules kind of a girl but I like this. More to come? Surely to goodness if only to connect with my inner 'little house' dweller!
Finally I got a little crazy- his photo has come out a little sun bleached the colours are much more smoking jacket in real life, I really got caught up in the Victorian study vibe for
this and if I had had some quills or beetle's wings or those dear oriental coins with the square holes in the middle you would have seen them here- crikey a shrunken head wouldn't have gone amiss!
More to come? I actually struggled to get the base laid- I ended up with awkward gaps I had no idea how to cover. In essence the technique is p****d log cabin with 'place and turn clockwise- repeat', perhaps I had just failed to achieve the correct degree of inebriation? But I loved the decoration- the trawling of the bead box for the weird/wonderful/both. So I think yes, a little more to come- but definitely in the same vein- no pretty flowers here, I am going all out seedy opium den with this every time!

And the long absences? Well birthdays for small girls, more family sadness, more bunting for the charity shop, and much much more wedding preparation. There is so much I can't show you that I have been fiddling away at. I have made jewellery for the big day, my bouquet and I have a few other tricks up my sleeve but as Simon knows me (I was going to say inside-out=but it made me feel a bit sick!) so well I want to make sure I surprise him just a little bit on the 6th of August- if I can. (don't worry- no seedy opium den vibe on that day- think it may be a little mo
re abandoned wedding in Nanny Mcphee- but heck It's meant to be fun right?