29 September 2006


2 birthday's this week....so I've been busy with cards & sewing projects.

Today is my lovely mother-in-law, Anne's....Birthday Wishes With Love have been sent in the post to arrive in Ireland this morning from me & C. She's an amazing lady, I hope she has a great day & treats herself to something nice with the money!

It was also Grainne's (C's god-daughter) birthday this week & another package was sent across the water to Ireland, this time with a very girly handbag & key fob as I know she's a a fan of all things pink & pretty!

& last but not least Bosco got a pressie too....& yes I know he's neither girl nor is it his birthday but he's forever sleeping on the windowsills & so I thought he could do with a bit more comfort :) He's now the proud owner of a cat-nap-quilt....perfect for snoozing in the sunshine! Think I'll put a couple of these in my shop over the next few weeks for other spoilt cats around the world!

Have a lovely weekend one & all. We have friends coming to stay & we're planning on much eating, drinking & merriment! x

28 September 2006


our 1st copper hen

can't catch me hare from hil's degree show

coat hanger postcards

mr & mrs copper chicks (our wedding pressie)

....I'm back to complete the post as promised! These pieces are all handmade by our very talented & gorgeous friend Hilary Bell. She works mainly in copper & is very much influenced by nature & the things that surround us day to day. We met in Manchester, pretty much on the 1st day of arriving to start our university adventures & I'll always remember my Mum saying "she looks like a girl you'll make friends with"....and so we did :)

She now lives & work in Edinburgh & we don't get to see her nearly enough. We're lucky to have some of her work in our home though so she's always around in the form of her/our copper chicks which always make me smile. She makes the most wonderful cards too....I'm already looking forward to this year's Christmas one!!

Another person who inspires me is the amazing food writer Tessa Kiros. I have treated myself to 2 of her books over the past year & whenever I pick one up to cook from or just to read I am blown away by the complete & utter gorgeousness of what's inside. Oh, the covers are just fantastical too....they're what attracted me in the 1st place....so I would say do judge a book by it's cover in this case. I found a great interview with her at Who Wants Seconds? too. I would recommend her books to anyone who loves cooking/colour/design/photography....anyone else out there a fan?

Here's a couple of pics to get you in her groove! (I see now that they're all on a cakey theme....must be my sweet tooth! Lots of fab savoury recipes too) x

26 September 2006


Today I'd like to share the work with you of Miriam Zadik Gold....I've fallen in love with her mosaic work, especially this bunting which is so wonderful....they're my kind of colours!! Her website is worth a visit, especially to see her other mosaic creations (including crockery brooches - so sweet!) along with her papercuts & sculptural work.

The bunting is just about to go into a show at the Canary Wharf Gallery in London & has featured in the UK magazine Grand Designs. I find the pattern & textures so inspiring....I'm hoping to go & see the pieces "in the flesh" as I'm sure they're even more beautiful in reality :)

22 September 2006


It's rained here all day today....so I stayed indoors & did some making. I put these piles of fabrics together for future quilt projects....I've got so much fabric that I've collected over the years plus a load of vintage lace & ribbons so some good materials to work with which is where it all starts inspiration-wise for me.

I thought I'd try out a couple of little projects to stock in my etsy shop. The key fob is padded, filled with dried lavender from my garden & has a nice vintage button & Swarovski crystals. I love these browns & turquoises together....

back & front

My other creation is this lavender scented charm....I imagine it hanging in my car (good for radiating some calm in traffic jams!) By the way that's not my car in the photo!! But my dream car....I see these Figaros all over the place these days as they're on my radar....I'm not really a car-mad person but these are so so sweet, v 50s, v retro (Wayne Hemingway drives one) made in Japan & totally impractical but maybe one day I'll trade up from my old £400 metro??! This particular one was parked outside Ark, one of my favourite shops in Cambridge.

So all in all I'm pretty pleased with what I got up to today....now I just need to get these up on etsy & make a link on my blog. That'll have to wait until tomorrow though....Friday evening & I'm off to spend time with C & B. Have a lovely weekend everyone! x

21 September 2006


a satisfying line of dusters out to dry in the autumn sunshine

it also reminds me that I want to recommend the film
little miss sunshine
I don't think I've laughed out loud so much in a cinema before....go see it everyone!!

20 September 2006


It's been a while my friends....in fact a whole week since I sat down to write & it's not that I've been lazy....just busy & spending time with my Mum who came to stay. It's good too because I can update on the WIP & happily report that the bed runner has been finished....yay!!

The very fact that Mum was here to stay played a big part in getting the runner done....I've had some help from the quilt-expert herself & we've learned a few lessons together along the way with techniques etc. I'm so pleased with how it's turned out & it's currently looking all lovely on the spare bed upstairs.

I have a few things to start researching....I'm looking into ways of printing my illustrations/sketches on to fabric with my home inkjet printer (has anyone tried these?) & also need to get hunting down vintage sheets for backing quilts which for me generally starts on eBay (must. not. get. sidetracked though!).

Anyway, it now feels that Nest is nearly born. We've been talking business & are going to give it a go together so wish us luck. So many ideas swirling around our brains now....I'll be back with an update soon :)

13 September 2006


Today is my Grandma C's birthday....she's my maternal grandmother & I'm sure she won't mind me saying that she's 77 today....here's a few things that I think of when I think of her, Mary....

happy holidays spent in england
(see above....that's me downing the pop!)
cosy stripey flanelette bedding
her gold swallow earrings
fidgi perfume
her love of clothes....& of bargains!
good baking....especially her famous crumbles
walks amongst the fallen leaves
very neat handwriting
milky coffee
musicals....especially calamity jane
ballroom dancing
her amazing talent for knitting
oil of ulay (& of olay....but most of all ulay!)
autumnal colours
her love of her family

10 September 2006


A Sunday of no plans....perfect! I spied these delights left by the spiders in the early morning sunshine. September is so spidery here....there are webs everywhere & each one is a work of art.

Today we did the Sunday thing....involving lots of food & time outside & general chilling....

woke from a good night's sleep
guitar lesson for C :: coffee & toast & newspaper read for me
cut the lawn & chopping back bushes in the garden
barbeque lunch
washed our cars
courgette & lancashire cheese crumble dinner
glass of red & a lazy evening

09 September 2006


Today we went to my Grandma C's birthday party. The honour had been bestowed upon me to make The Birthday Cake....no worries....I love baking! So this morning I set to with trusty Nigella to guide me....I had decided on her recipe for Coconut Cake (never made before....alarm bells should have been ringing by now!)

Up early with all ingredients to hand I got going & had the 2 sandwich tins in the oven by 10am. Cooked & set out to cool I then got into catching up with my brother Ben who had driven down for the party. Oh dear....when I came to assemble the cake later & decorate it I realised that it didn't look quite cooked through on the base....back in the oven it went & to cut a long story short I served up pieces of it to the guests feeling just awful at how it had turned out. As far as the photo above goes....well all I can say is that looks can be deceiving! But enough of bad baking....the party was good :)

Our lovely family all together. We played croquet, boules & all had a go at breaking the pinata. Lots of party food which everyone had made & brought along. Catching up on everyone's news & generally enjoying sitting outside with drinks flowing. As everyone has gotten older & some moved further away it was very special all to be in the same place. It was a gorgeous day & the sky was full of different clouds....we even spotted a rainbow.

Home by early evening & collapsed on the sofa. Must be a better cook tomorrow!! x

05 September 2006


C "what time is it?"
K "1/4 to 7"
C "what time's the alarm set for?"
K "what time do you want it set for?"
C "1/4 to 8"
K "ok. love you, see you tonight"
C "drive safely. love you too"

This has been our Tuesday morning conversation word for word for a good while now. I get up at 6am, get dressed, have a hot drink, make packed breakfast for me/lunches for us....then creep back into our bedroom to say cheerio to C before heading off to work on a 250 mile round road trip. Today when the 1/4 to 6am (my) alarm went off it was still dark....this is a major change from just the week before. The summer mornings have been quite a pleasure to get up early for but today looked different....autumn's here methinks....but it's not a worry because today was the last Tuesday drive.

It was sad saying farewell to my friends at work....I'll chat to them on the phone for the rest of the week when we're all working from home but today was the last chance for a proper goodbye hug! We ate cakes galore with tea & coffee....did the usual work thing that we always do....and had laughs, photos & even a preview from Fee of her new outfit for her brother's wedding!! I'm almost on the last day of disco....I'm going to miss working with such lovely folk but I know I'll keep in touch with them so it's not all glum.

04 September 2006


And now for something creative!

I'm calling this Quilt Monday....inspired by angry chicken who always posts her quilting progress on this day of the week. It's also very much a Work In Progress post. This is the start of a (fingers crossed) new venture for me & will be part of (Wedding) Nest. It's going to be a quilted bed runner & it's a version to market/show as an example. It's based on memorable fabrics from my wedding ....bridesmaids outfits/napkins/invitations/even Ciaran's tie! I'll report back with the finished version soon :)

This is the start of the last week in my current day job....I don't think it'll sink in that I've finished until Friday when all's done & dusted. I'm off to see some of my lovely colleagues tomorrow and I made these contact cards for them so we can keep in touch. Lots of biscuits will be required to sweeten the sadness of saying bye bye for now to them all!

03 September 2006


The sun's back again. Up early today....Ciaran's gone out for the day so I got to have a lazy morning....weekend papers (2 great arcticles above) & coffee with Radio 4 going in the background. Think I'll try the rose macaroons soon to share with someone girly....just need to get some rosewater. As for the wish list in the Guardian magazine....well I'd be happy with any or all of it please! Such great colours.

I thought things were just about finished in the garden (have only been thinking of getting out there & cutting stuff back lately what with the grey weather) but on closer inspection today in the sunshine there's some lovely things still to come. Even my sunflower at long last! Looking forward to pumpkins for October....must seek out some recipes.

01 September 2006


pic from She September 2006

A new month....

"By all these lovely tokens September days are here,
With summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer"
Helen Hunt Jackson 1830-1885

New beginnings are great aren't they? It just feels good to me turning the calendar over....being on the brink of a new season. I'm starting to feel the need "to do" and get things going. Only 1 week left for me in my current job & it's as if there's something round the corner....a door ajar into a fresh & exciting possibility. I just need to ease it open & get through.

So many ideas whirling round in my mind. Inspiration everywhere I turn. Reading Abigail's post today. Magazines....Blueprint....Coast....believe it or not She which is a refreshingly non celebrity/diets/relationship themed women's monthly & brings Martha S to mind.

Maybe it's that "back to school" mantra....I've got an urge for a BIG sort out....as has my Mum (who's already started clearing out cupboards!)....make lists....rearrange rooms....sort out my pencil case :)

The weather is forecast to rain everywhere in UK tomorrow & I'm quite looking forward to it. It's a good excuse to be in and get some order in the house....not that my house is ever really in order (in my dreams!!) but I'm about to try. I have a meeting arranged for a very very part-time job (1 day a week) but other than that I'm going to spend this weekend on plans & action!!

Have a good one everyone! x