Wednesday, 29 June 2011

My life as a fabric obsessive

I just thought you'd like to see a few more of my favourite fabrics - these are ones I've been using for items for my Sew Happy Folksy shop, here, and my Sew Happy blogshop. I'm aiming to upload more lovely goodies tomorrow to my Folksy shop, but just thought the fabrics themselves looked so lovely laid out together. Do you spot any favourites here?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

My Samsung mobile... a teeny tiny rant

This is my current phone, Samsung's S8000. I hate it! I can't get on with it at all.

I spent yesterday cursing my phone, because it was broken, or so I thought. My 14 year old got home from school, patiently raised her eyebrows at my ranting, took one look, and instantly knew what was wrong. Ten minutes later it was fixed.

Kids today are so gadget savvy....and it puts me to shame! And I accept that lots of people must love their Samsung S8000s!

However, I still hate my phone. I wish I could have my old Nokia back with its lovely keypad. It lasted four years before it died on me.

Do any of you have touch screen phones who are 'of the more mature' mummy age and do you get on with them. I have to admit, I haven't spent long enough (read any time at all!) reading the thick manual that came with my phone and trying to get to grips with it. Would I like this phone more if I tried harder to get on with it and understand it?

Any comments are really welcome on this, as this is the second time I've chosen a phone I haven't got on with.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Crochet and flowers

I think I've mentioned before how much I love crochet. I taught myself, and I've loved it as a major source of relaxation. I've always loved anything with flowers, so crochet flowers are an addiction.

The lovely thing about crochet flowers is that once you've followed patterns and made a few, it's very easy to make them up as you go along - especially ones with simple chain petals.

It's lovely to make brooches out of the results, or just use them to adorn other makes. I made a purse recently from a pattern, simply because it was decorated in crocheted flowers:

My daughter then demanded her own, which I crocheted while she was away on a school trip as a surprise welcome home pressie...

Hers is lined with a pretty lavender lady fabric and she loves it. She's also been crocheting flowers - it really isn't hard, so pick up a crochet hook if you haven't ever tried it!
I've also been crocheting hearts.

If you're learning to crochet, you'll find flowers quick and easy and immensely satisfying to do. And if you need a bit of help, do check the tutorial I did a few years back, here.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Happy Birthday - another cake post!

Those who check my blog will know I love to make birthday cakes. The more detail the better. It's not a birthday in this house today, but it's my 17th wedding anniversary today - SEVENTEENTH! I don't know where those years have gone, though they've been a blast. And I obviously was thinking about cakes, as the biggest thing I've done in the past 17 years is my children, and a major part of that is celebrating their birthdays. I've done one post with a collection of some of my cakes, here, and thought it was time to bring a few more together.

I loved making this party tea cake, as the children could easily join in and make some of the little donuts and cupcakes. The details were just great fun to do.

Even little sandwiches - how cute is that! Another fun one to do was this dinosaur breaking out of an egg:

I take most of my cakes from books I find in the library - it's really step by step, and not hard.

Sometimes I need to speed through, which is when cupcakes are so useful:

And smarties are always popular.

I'm making myself hungry now - probably good as I think I'm off for a special celebratory meal tonight! This one was fun, with initial cakes for each member of the party for one of my daughters:

Again, she helped with the initials and icing, though lots went inside her tummy in the making of them!

The heart-shaped cake is a regular theme in our house.


And once when I had very little time at all, I made this (again, with lots of eager hands to help place the smarties):

I couldn't resist this one having seen it made on the telly...

But my fave of all times remains my troll village cake. Even though I was up until midnight (with a lovely friend who helped me out) cutting tiles for the pathway!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Fabric hearts

There's something very theraputic about making lavender hearts. I love the smell of the lavender, but I also love choosing the ribbons and buttons to embellish each one. I spent a lovely morning this week doing just that, having pre-made a number of hearts ready for embellishment.

I make batches of them for a local shop, and she always loves the fact I make them all different. I think I'd get bored if I didn't. Sometimes I use applique, but those take much more time.

Others are pretty enough without applique...

This time the postcard fabric was my absolute favourite, though the cats came a close second.

But they all looked very pretty.

And they are now on display in my local shop. A job well done, I think.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Germany and cucumbers and the worries of a mum!

This lovely cucumber recipe is here. We love salads in our house. At least, 3 out of the five of us do, the other two will happily munch on lettuce and the odd tomato. However, my middle one loves all things salad.

This was a bit of a worry last week when she was on a school trip in Germany and the E.coli scare broke, as I knew out of all the kids there, she would be the one eating all the salads. But I kept these worries firmly under wraps. It's one of the things you have to learn to do, as a mum. All the time, it seems to me. :-)

Anyway, the conversation shortly after she got home went something like this:

Her: Mum, they just said on the news that people travelling in Germany should be avoiding cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Me: Yes, that's what they've been saying [later that night, they identified the source as beansprouts]. So, did they tell you that in Germany?
Her: No, they said it was all a load of nonsense and all made up. I didn't know people had died. That's scary. But I was eating everyone's salads because none of my friends liked salads.
Me: I thought you might be. What did you eat last night?
Well, last night we didn't have salad, but the night before I ate everyone's tomato and mozarella side salads because they were yummy and nobody wanted theirs.
Me: [Sigh.] How many did you eat?
Her: Five! Do you think I'll be okay.
Me: If anything was going to happen, believe me, it would have happened by now.

Needless to say, I was very reassured to have her back. Life as a parent is endlessly worrisome! :-)