Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stick a fork in it

Because it's done.

This is what I've been knitting for goodness knows how long, and it's finished! I'm going to take a little break from knitting until after my summer holiday this June, then will be knitting up a storm! I'm looking forward to steering this blog back in a crafty direction now I've got a bit more time on my hands.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Royal Wedding

Doesn't the Royal Wedding feel like a long time ago now? I've still not adjusted back to the 5 day week properly what with all the Bank Holidays, still, only a couple of weeks to go until the next one! My favourite part of the Royal Wedding was seeing all the street parties going on up and down the country - did you celebrate? I would have loved to go to a street party or host my own but as it happened I was busy getting ready for a much more important wedding (at least in our calendar). Ciaran's youngest brother tied the knot with his fiance on Saturday 30th April in Milford, Godalming. Here are a few pics from the day.

I think it's a lovely tradition to get married in the brides home town and Milford is such a beautiful village that we decided to make a weekend of it and stay in a local hotel. (In case you're wondering, I drafted in a good friend to Kitten sit for the weekend - Anna was only too pleased to travel all the way down from Liverpool to keep Toby company for the Bank Holiday weekend!).

The Union Jack bunting was flying all around the village and the Bank Holiday Friday / late pub opening hours ensured there was a general mood of celebration in the air.

Hannah continued the Tea Party theme from her Hen do by decorating her reception with lots of vintage tea cups, saucers and tea pots. Try ebay and your local charity shops for billy bargains.

We were so lucky to have such beautiful whether!
Although the whole garden was covered with a marquee, spaces were left in the carpet so that the flower beds could  pop up like the one above. At night hundreds of tea lights in jam jars and fairy lights in the trees inside made the marquee look beautiful.

I loved wearing this hat. My boss kindly lent it to me, it's from John Lewis.

Hi! That's us. Ciaran was best man so probably had pre-speech nerves at this point.

 My dress is from Jeager Boutique.

What a lovely day! Congratulations Declan & Hannah!

Monday, May 16, 2011

High-larity in Highgate

On Saturday I went up to North London to pay Kirsty and Seth a visit. We had a cup of tea and then hit the paves to check out their new neighbourhood of Highgate.

Whoops eyes closed.

Check out those seedlings! It's always lovely to have some outside space to grow your own flowers and vegetables. My own humble herb pots are thriving on the kitchen window ledge and make so much difference to my cooking.

We went for a walk around the estate's communal gardens (which are vast might I add!) which includes this greenhouse - perfect for growing delicate veg like lettuce.

A stone at the edge of the pond reminds us that these flats used to be for ladies only. Lady workers in fact!

Not pictured: Big fat tadpoles.

After taking a tour of the gardens we walked on to some of the local parks including the pretty Waterlow Park.

Stopped off for a cup of tea at this charming tea shop: High Tea of Highgate. I can recommend the almond tea but they also stock the delicious Marine Ices.

Check out the view from the roof!

Thanks for having me guys!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There hasn't been much knitting news on this blog lately (not since I finished this jumper last June in fact). That's not to say I haven't been busy working away behind the scenes, in fact that's exactly what I've been doing, every single day. For the last two years I have been working on a commission and finally, the end is in sight.

Working on this project has been a great experience in many ways but it has taken me a lot longer than I expected and there have definitely been times when I have regretted taking on something so big. It's like any undertaking when you get to the point where you've gone too far to turn back but can't see it ever coming to an end and the temptation is to just give up. I've learned from this project that if I just do a little bit, every day, I will get to the finish. For me it was knitting on the bus on the way to and from work which helped me turn a corner - having an hour and a half to knit every day, without sacrificing any of my evening or weekend time made all the difference and I seemed to gain momentum when I realised that I could get it finished after all.

I know I haven't given much away here but I don't really want to say any more - in case I get home and discover Toby has shredded the whole thing, or that one piece is much bigger than the other (actually have already been there but that's another story) or that I sew it together and it turns out so badly that I have to go and bury myself in a hole in the ground. In my head however, I am quietly getting excited about finishing this project this coming weekend and having the time to knit, sew, decoupage, upholster, stencil or print anything I want.

For lack of a work-in-progress photograph, here is a piece of knitwear that caught my eye recently - I stumbled across it whilst looking at a hair tutorial on A Cup Of Jo isn't this stripy pullover lovely? It's from Cardigan. I'd be tempted to try to knit something similar but can you imagine trying to get all those stripes to line up on the shoulder seams??

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's Occurring?

I baked a lemon cake! The whole thing was devoured by my family before it had even cooled down. I only just managed to rescue this slice to take a quick photo. This is another winner from the Great British Book Of Baking.

How about a closer look at those flowers? These are from my Aunts wedding this weekend which held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. We had champagne followed by afternoon tea - such a lovely idea for a day time wedding reception.

Toby cat's world was turned upside down on Sunday when we hoovered for the first time since bringing him home. He hid in a box of jumpers under the bed for hours and then spent the rest of the evening behind the sofa. This morning though he woke me up a few minutes before the alarm by biting my toes which is a sign that things are returning to normal.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dreaming about cakes

Do you ever get an urge to cook or bake something which has nothing to do with the eating but everything to do with the making? Like knitting, bread making is a thoroughly enjoyable activity when the time is right, regardless of how it turns out in the end. All the kneading and rising creates a sense of anticipation and achievement, coupled with the joy I always find in making something so good and useful out of so little ingredients.

I would say I have more of a savoury tooth than a sweet tooth - if I have a specific craving it's usually for scotch eggs, pork pies or a Thai Curry rather than chocolate. When I do bake a cake it tends to be of the more wholesome date & walnut, carrot or banana variety rather than the airy fairy confections which please the eye. Even so, I don't tend to make them very often, mostly because I, like most people, do not have the kind of metabolism which would allow me to eat half a Victoria sponge and expect my jeans to still fit two days later. I have come to the conclusion (right this second) that cakes are for sharing and spreading around.

Rather than make a cake (or more accurately, not make a cake) and fret about having to eat it all (or at least a third - there are three of us - or four if you count Toby, in our flat) or find that it has gone past it's best before we get to the end, I'm going to share the love. I'm going to bake cakes freely from now on - eat a slice myself while it's still warm, take a slice to work as a little treat, bring half in for my colleagues, send Ciaran off to work with a slab for his.

Funnily enough it's the pretty, fairy type cakes I am longing to bake now? A Victoria sponge with coloured butter cream icing. Piped roses! (squeezing icing out of an icing bag has always been a dream of mine). I think this Sunday is going to see some action centering around my mixer and oven - watch this space.

Luscious chocolate cake: Cupcakes and Cashmere

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Roman Holiday

I love this simple, charming film, I think it might actually be my favourite film of all time? Audrey Hepburn plays a mollycoddled princess who sneaks out of her palace one night to experience the city of Rome on her own. She cuts her hair, smokes some fags, swigs champagne and of course meets Gregory Peck. It's such a lovely story and Audrey's natural beauty and poise shine through in every scene. It inspired me to make a collage of what I would pack if I were to take my own Roman Holiday.

1: Scarf Twist Headband - Toast
2: Nail Polish in Tart Deco by Essie
3: Pussybow blouse - Topshop
4: Rainbow Print Sleeveless Dress - Jeager Boutique
5: Floral Meadow Print Mini Suitcase - Liberty
6: Jade Green Skull Scarf - Alexander McQueen at Liberty
7: Fleur De Bois Perfume - Miller Harris
8: Tan Lorraine Cross Body Bag - Ally Cappelino (via Net-A-Porter)
9: Kourion Leather Gladiator Sandals - Diane Von Furstenberg (via Net-A-Porter)
10: A Sweet Vespa