Friday, December 26, 2008

Turkey and Latkahs... of course

I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas with all your loved ones around and that you enjoyed sharing your kids magic (unless, of course, you are the actual kids). We had a wonderful holiday spending time with the family where we were swinging our crackers to White Christmas and lighting the channukiah singing Maor Tzur.

For me, the holidays are of nostalgia and traditions, giving plenty and placing a smile, creativity and inspirations. Its a time for love and laughter, board games and great tv. Cold turkey sandwiches and Quality Street. Glasses of Baileys and spoonfuls of trifle. And children. Its all about the children.

We started the holidays with making chocolate rice crispies cakes... for the reindeer's of course

...then a gingerbread house and mince pies... for Santa of course

...checking the tv guide... of course

...and no Christmas would be the same without yarn slipping through my fingers, so what better opportunity than to start the crochet granny square baby blanket that's intended to gift.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wish you all a Happy Channukah.

First light gets lit tomorrow night... remember plant candles right to left and light candles left to right with the Shamash (the tallest most candle).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

MIL lives these winter months in warmer climates. She's a regular reader of my blog and a huge complimenter. She's 4 foot, ginger and lovely... and I couldn't ask or pick a better one.

Enough with the shmoozing.

She phones me from her Cyprus balcony twice a week. OK, one of those two phonecalls is to ask her son to call her when he's free, but the other is a sole me / her conversation. We speak for 10 minutes about the weather before we start chatting generally. The conversation:

Me: How's things?
MIL: The weather is glorious here. The best December yet.
Me: Lovely, you keep saying.
MIL: Its cold there, I see, isn't it?
Me: yes, freezing, but don't worry about whats going on here, enjoy there.
MIL: We keep an eye on the weather from the news. Sunday's going to be nice there.
Me: Oh...good...thanks

And it goes on a bit how she's still in her shorts and t-shirts, blah, blah, blah.

Yesterday made me chuckle when she told me that the weather was 11 degrees and that its quite warm here.

Hardly warm, but it still made me chuckle that she knew our temperature. But, it was still hotter there and the best December yet!

In News: I booked my first table at a craft fair. So excited. And nervous.

I'm making applique t-shirts and these skirts. The t-shirts are like the ones in a post further back. Honest criticisms welcome. Any craft fair tips of the trade also welcome.

I'll post details of the fair once I receive the official flyer.

1 week 'til Chruxmas.... yippppeeeeeeee

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ottobre 06/07.

Having heard so much about Ottobre patterns and flicking through their online pattern books I ended up buying the 06/07 Ottobre pattern book from Dots n Stripes (the only UK distributer). I did think about subscribing, but I can't subscribe to another magazine. It was difficult selecting a one off pattern book from the whole library of back issues, but in the end it was the Ollie pants that did it for me, here! The patterns are gorgeous, even nicer (I'd say) than the Japanese magazines - and they come translated!

This particular pattern was ok to construct. I do feel that probably some instructions get lost through trasnlation, however, if you're an intermediate/advanced sewer then I think you'll be fine. The patterns are not marked in any level of simplicity like the Burda Fashion patterns, so I highly recommend reading through (as you should anyway) the whole pattern first.

I did omit the pockets. The reason being that the dress was too small for them and they looked silly. I've constructed and sewn the pockets up already, and I'll save them for the same dress in a bigger size that I plan on making shortly.

My lining and seamings are a bit messy, I need alot of practice!

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Hubby comes in Sat morning from clearing out the car, shticking [laughing hysterically] to himself. Its his Saturday morning ritual - the car cleaning not the hysteria - to clear out the weeks worth of mess that the boys (and I) leave. I tend to leave him to his own devises at 9 oclock on a Saturday morning. But this particular morning something seemed to be up. Did I leave some oddity in the car? Had a passing stranger told him a joke? Did he tell himself a joke?

Turns out it was the next door neighbour.

We've got lovely neighbours next door (the ones that are attached to our semi). Mr neighbour is always outside in his Barbour watching the traffic and Mrs Neighbour is always gardening. Flowers all year around. She wears a cork hat, I guess to ward off those pestulant insects we get year round.

We don't tend to bump into them an awful lot, but when we do we exchange pleasantries. They're not like our old neighbours (Mr and Mrs Noseyneighbours), espcially Mrs Noseyneighbour. I used to have a "coooooeeeeeeeiiiiiii" most mornings. Not great when you've got to fly off to the school run. It got to the point where I'd have to leave the house 5 minutues earlier than my already 15 minutes - to beat school traffic - earlier, Oy.

Anyway, Mr Neighbour called over to Hubby Sat morning. "Good morning, we've just got back from holiday and it seems that everytime your doorbell rings, ours does too!" And they'd just got in from Australia so I guess they didn't appreciate the early post delivery at 8am. Hubby tried it and, yeah, that's what happens!

*giggle, giggle*

Wireless interferance, methinks.

T'was my turquise corduroy fabric that the postman delivered bright and early this morning. I've already started cutting it up! It goes deliciously with the Farmers Market florals.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sorry, this doughnut's got no sugar!

I walked into the classroom. Kids, Babies no more than 3, toddled around the room from one activity to the next. Teachers entertaining. Tables set out for crayons, easels for paints, book boxes, toy boxes, kitchen corner... nursery activities.

*oh my goodness, am I ready for this yet?*

My little Nosh, just a breath past two years, will be attending this nursery soon and today was our visit to see how things are run. My little Nosh, never a day away from me, the extension of my leg, my little lunch buddy, my reason for rolling and laughing around on the floor, my story listener, my finger cruncher. My Nosh-pot!

He had a lovely morning playing, and I sat and watched as he mingled with his peers, as he explored the room and took to new surroundings. He even made a friend, aarrrhhhhh. A smile sat on my lips as I watched him enjoying, playing and gaining an Independence and confidence. I didn't expect him to be so confident. And, I didn't expect me to feel so ok with everything.

Then, he saw me and made a b-line. Here it comes, my lap warmer. But hang on. "bye Mummy" then he puckered his lips to kiss me goodbye.


Obviously I didn't leave. I wasn't ready to let go, and we were just checking the place out. We're going back in a few weeks to see them again. I've gotta get myself used to this again.

Sorry, no photos today. Dontcha hate posts without pictures, bit like a doughnut without the sugar. Talking of doughnuts, 23 days until Channukah.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The sewing machine gets a night off

A cup of hot cocoa, thick woolly socks, legs tucked under a fleece blanket, pulled in tight to my chest and Hubby sitting an inch away. I'd like to say the fire was burning coal, (but ours is a modern day electric one) and two glasses of red sitting on the mantle, but its a school night...

Nevertheless, It's lovely and cosy snuggled here on the sofa watching Desperate Housewives. A night off from the machine was lovely - though, a difficult decision to make. DH v Vintage Singer, hmm. Difficult, hey?

Here's a sight of my new label, posing on one of my applique tee's, but more of the t-shits another time. When the climate warms, they'll come out for show. Bloomers too, they'll also be on my show off list! But the label, I'm really pleased with. I like the logo and the colours. I toyed with many combinations and logos, but this one settled.

I've also failed to mention in the past that I'm a Marie Claire Idees subscriber (amongst many others). Its a French magazine of beautiful handpicked items and crafty things to make with full Instructions (great if you've a French tongue), pour moi c'est difficil. Whilst they are a tad tricky to understand, they are inspirational and beautiful to look at. This quarter's mag wasn't as impressive as usual, I have to admit, especially it being their Christmas edition. However, it's still unputdownable. Here's a flick through a few pages.

I especially liked this teddy bear appliqued coat. Just Gorgeous.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've found a new friend, or sort of been reunited with an old one (if you could really call her that). We last saw each other when we were 7, then she found me on Facebook. Now, I'm very excited about being reunited (in a funny sort of way) as I'm so intrigued as to where she went. I remember her at school, she was sorta geeky, (wore the free National Health pink glasses, or did she wear the black ones) but there one day, then gone the next! But being a kid I didn't question it - at seven life is as it presents.

Anyway, poor little girl was shipped off to her birth mother that she barely knew, taken away from her brother and father. 200 miles away from "home", and from the only people she knew as family and friends.

Anyway, she grew up having a normal childhood and adulthood. Met, I guess, the man of her dreams and has two children with him and he now has taken a job back in her home town. At present, he commutes - week days here, weekends there. She's got a phobia about coming back, don't know why.

Hubby questions why I'm so interested in someone I barely know. My answer is just that I'm plain old nosey. Is that wrong? I'm interested in what my past friends are up to now or what paths their lives took. Aren't you? He doesn't get the whole Facebook thing. He thinks I should stick to sewing! Which brings me to mention that above is to become a halterneck dress, so keep watching. Fabulous flirty fabric from Heather Bailey.

Below is a custom made simple A-line dress. Specifications were to be dark, plain and long. So the only fussy-ness I could add was the handmade bias binding trimmed around the neckline and arms.

Im dead pleased with its turnout and I feel like the proud mother of a zip insertion.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've been busy... doing stuff!

41 days until Christmas - not that I'm sitting at my window sill peering into the night yearning for a glimse of a red cape and hooves, or anything. Nor also that I'm preparing a countdown graph of moon and sun risings, or any other evidence pertaining to galactical movement.

But joke aside, it is my favourite time of the year, my favourite! And, I have a double wammy because we celebrate Channukah too.

I love waking up at dawn to a little tap on my shoulder and a sweet excitable voice asking "is it morning yet?".

Gowned and slippered, Hubby and I follow downstairs and watch two little boys open their presents, present by present.

So, 41 days and counting. What's on your Christmas make list this year? I've got a few ideas, though barely in stitches.

First up, awaiting embellishments and sleeves, we have this lovely little ensemble, size 5.

Can you sort of make out this lovely smock top once the sleeves are sewn on. Its a button up the back fastening.

Until next time. xx

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

la petite robe...

Its finished, the gorgeous little corduroy dress - and I'm delighted with its result. I love the colour, I love its contrasting fabric and I love that its not in the shops for purchase. And most of all, I love that my fault finder of a Hubby, didn't criticise it AT ALL, he said it was "brilliant bubes". Arrrhhhhh xx.

The khaki corduroy fabric was teamed with 100% cotton florals for its lining. Those big chunky brown buttons came from a shoe box full of miscellaneous buttons which I bought from a charity shop for about a fiver. Teamed together, I think it works.

For me, its a winner!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A trip into the forest

It was glorious. The sun shone and the wind blew.

And the two boys went in search of treasure.

Along the way we found some starving geese. Probably shipwrecked. Thankfully, the Bubela had a whole loaf of Tesco value bread with him.

No rock was left unturned. Treasure was to be found.

Then we went deeper into the forest.

And guess who found a dinosaur bone!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OH NO!!!!

Look what's happened.

My foot pedal fell off the table (as I was assembling the sewing machine for use) and now my machine doesn't work. I'm such a clutz... And, all these lead bits fell out of the pedal... I've no idea what they are, but they're obviously important. Oy vey!! Despair.

I've now got to schlep around in search of a repairer, or a replacement pedal.

So, I'm afraid the only photo I have of my corduroy dress is this unfinished one, pre-machine breakage. [Excuse the poor lighting]. The lovely floral fabric is its lining and the photo does no justice to its beauty. Its mint background and bright pink flowers is gorgeous.

Signing off... a glum Mrs Sweetpea. x

**UPDATE** Phew of relief. I've found a shop that will replace my pedal. They cut off the wire attached to the existing pedal and attach a new generic pedal - all for £30. And the best bit... the wait is 2/3 hours. *Smiling, Hubby will be pleased because I was in a bad mood last night.*

My other choice was buying another pedal direct from Singer for £60 with a weeks wait.


"Just buy another sewing machine", said my Darling Hubby. Last week, My iron had been fusing the house, so Hubby said "just go buy a new one". I saved him £30 something and changed the fuse!!!!! *chuckle*.

*Note to Hubby* I love you and I know you would buy me anything, but we cant just buy a "new one" everytime something goes wrong... we have to learn to fix it. xxxx

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I'm sewing.

Sewing a lovely little corduroy dress, its gorgeous. So far, anyway. Its a Vintage Mccalls pattern... Oooo, I love my vintage patterns. I've never been lucky to pick any up in a charity shop, they are probably slung out before they even reach the shop floor. I just purchase them on Ebay.

Wanna have a look at my new additions?

I'll post photos of my dress in the next couple of days.

Friday, October 17, 2008


My little Nosh.

How long we waited for your arrival. All those years of rollercoaster IVF cycles... All those negative testings... All those tears... All those doctors... and then, god blessed us with your safe arrival.

My creation

And we thank god every day that you made it safely to us in the end.

Your cheesy smile kisses my heart and your kisses I want to bite. Your cuddles are delicious and your personality is humerous. Your frustrations and "strong will", ha, I can live with for the time being! You are our completion to our family.

Happy birthday my little Noshpot. x

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

HAPPY 7th BIRTHDAY sweet little Bubela.

My creation

7 years ago today, you were put into my arms and a love and bond warmed my heart like no other love I had ever felt before. A love of a life, to protect and to care for, to love and nurture, and become a family.

The best little birthday present one could ask for. Born on Hubby's birthday - Happy birthday to you too, Chooch. x

Where did those 7 little years go?

From your first step to you turning a big 7.

Happy birthday Bubela and may all your dreams come true. xxx

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A story to share

Circa 1941, wartime London in Parfet Street where the Drillicks lived. They had a yard in the back where the little girl played with her doll that she shared with the other kids. A regular visitor to their door came unshaven, dirty and homeless begging for money. One particular day, this dirty old tramp knocked on the door to be told to wait just there.

"Mrs Woolf", She shouted up, "could you send down a suit of your boy Jack's for the nebach standing at my door"

She invited the homeless boy in and told him to wash and bathe and gave him the parcelled up suit sent from Mrs Woolf upstairs.

"Now, go to Lemon Street, No 50, tell them Adle (pronounced Idle) sent you", and off the cleaned up homeless boy went.

Many years later there was a knock at Adle's door.

"Yes", she said to the young man.

"Hello", the young man said. "Its me, the dirty homeless man that you gave clothes to. I just came to thank you. I went to the factory in Lemon Street where you sent me and I worked there as a tailor's shlapper. Today, I'm a tailor and dress some of the best city men... and I thank you.

A wonderful TRUE story. Ada Drillick was my Great Grandmother, Austrian born. That's her pictured with her Husband, Moishe.

Its Grandparents Day 5th October, share a story.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy New Year

My good old Evelyn Rose cook book has joined me at the table today over coffee. She has one of the best Jewish Cookbooks I've seen as its packed through with traditional dishes for every occassion.

I'll be baking my usual Honey Cake and Honey Crackle for Rosh Hashanna.

Here's my Honey Crackle recipe:


4oz butter
6fl oz honey
1 egg
6oz plain flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp barcarb of soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 nutmeg
vanilla essence
4 tbsp shredded coconut

Cream together the butter and honey, then gradually beat in the egg. Sift all the other dry ingredients, then add to the honey/butter mixture. Flavour with a few drops of vanilla essence. Stir in 4 tbsp grated coconut. Pour the mixture into a tin and bake for 45 min (180deg)

Remove from teh tin carefully and glaze:

6 tbsp melted butter
6 tbsp double cream
6 tbsp grated coconut

Grill for a few minutes.


Happy New Year to all friends and family. xx

Monday, September 15, 2008

With sewing month here and birthday's on the way, I decided to make buntings. They were not hard at all.

I simply cut out from cardboard my desired size of flag. My measurements are marked, its a good size.

Using a rotary cutter and this template, I cut my fabric.

Here they are.

I used iron on interfacing as I wanted a sturdy look rather than a flimsy, flappy look - buts its entirely preferance. Iron the interfacing to the wrong side of one triange, then place another cut triangle right sides together. As in the picture, if the interfacing is facing up, then your right to go.

Stitch a 1cm allowance all around, leaving a 5cm gap at the top (for pulling through.

Before pulling through cut your corners and along the sewn edge to sharpen the finished look.

Pull the rights sides through the gap in the top and press. I top stitched the flag as I think it finishes it off.

Now, all you need to do is sew the bias binding along the top. Use pins to help pin it place and off you go.

I machine appliqued these letters on.

Here's the Nosh's finished bunting. I'm really pleased with its turn out.