Saturday, 27 February 2010

Ode to the Leaf Dress - a creation of a lifetime

Today I have destroyed my leaf dress. It was a little emotional as it took me six months to make for the Elf Fantasy Fair in the Netherlands. After wearing it on a few occassions, it got a little dirty and was unwashable with it being based on a wedding dress, and also because I needed the petticoat for the Mombi dress, I decided to destroy it. It only took a few minutes, and it's only slowly kicking in, so this is an ode to my leaf dress - a creation of a lifetime.

The creation process, take one wedding dress (chopped in half), make a ton of individual leaves, and start sewing them on, row after row...

After row after row...


Until the whole skirt is done

Then finish all accessories and have a friend take pictures of the whole thing


                                        (photo by Paul from the sewing group)

After which some serious parading around at the EFF is needed
                                                          (photo by Hans at the EFF)

And the London Underground Theme Party as Royal Oak Tube Station

And at the Beltane Bash outside the British Museum

Now, after this afternoon's destruction, this is all there is left of the skirt. It is a little multicoloured as this was the second pimping it has been through.


Now all I have to do is start the Mombi dress and today I finished buying all the fabrics. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to start cutting and sewing :)

Normally I wouldnt buy half of these fabrics, but all this totally matches the pictures of the dress I have so fingers crossed it will work out :)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Oh no, I'm sick!

The whole week I have been planning my weekend for things to do and everything was prepared. Then I woke up this morning with a throat the size of Australia and havent left the house at all. My entire weekend plans have just fallen apart, and I'm having the worst throat ache I've had in 14 years. I've had something waiting for a while but managed to control it with Ibuprofen and stuff. I think it was the draft from yesterday's craft meet that was the final straw. I wont be blogging for a few days I think, unless I will have some sort of miraculous recovery...

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Craft Mashup Meetup

Finally it was time for the Craft Mashup Meetup! I've been looking forward to this for a while now, and finally it was on. I got a little lost along the way (sorry Joanne!) but in the end found the place it was held in. It was an interesting evening where we could learn (or mostly re-learn in my case) crochet, knitting, cookie decorating, and origami. Ok, I skipped the origami. All the precise folding is not for me... So I did the other three :)

I started off with knitting. I was still all hyped from work and this was the perfect thing to get my mind off things. I learned this great tip:
If you are a left-handed knitter and you need help but no one can help you because they're all right-handed, sit opposite them and let them show you and you simply follow what they're doing. Mirror-image knitting. Super handy! Look at me go!

In the end I actually managed to learn two different stitches and knit a few rows :)

Then it was off to cookie-decorating. I was a little disappointed to be honest as we used only icing in tubes but as we only had to decorate one cookie we had lots of time for it which meant I could really focus on mine. In the end it came out quite well. I think. But maybe I'll just keep using chocolate instead like I did with the Valentine cookies.

I went back to the wool table for some crochet. The basic stitch was really easy and I was relishing the easiness of it, when Kate (the organiser) showed me a double stitch. OMG did that get diffcult!! I only managed a few stitches until the time was up and the evening over...

In the end I had a lovely productive evening. I'll be buying some knitting supplies in April to keep me occupied during the medieval summer events where the bf is off sword fighting and the fair maiden just gets to hang out :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Happy Pancake Day!

As some of you may know, I LOVE pancakes. So roll on pancake day! Every year year the bf tells me that my pancakes are too Dutch or too thick or something. They're not bad, but somehow I can never find the right quantity to put in the pan or something. Anyway, the bf accepted the challenge and made me French pancakes for pancake day :) Sorry, have just been corrected, BRITTANY pancakes called Krampouez.

The evening started off a little rough as it was pouring rain outside and I still had to buy some flour. By the time I got home, I was completely soaked, including my feet which I thought were safely dry in my relatively new Wellies. Sadly no pic, but the phrase 'drowned cat' comes to mind LOL

In the end though, I got home alright and the baking could commence.
The bf made the batter:

Checking the pancakes for their readiness...

...while having some yummy white wine in the cool glasses that James gave us while we were in San Francisco :)

And FLIP! It actually did land in the pan :) Very impressive!

Yumm yumm yumm...

Taadaa! All finished :)
Well done!!

Now for the eating! :)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Yummy yummy dinner

A usual Monday morning... cloudy and grey outside, which is really not helping me to wake up in the morning. However, today was better than the whole of last week which says a lot. I brought the banana cookies to work which was appreciated by my colleagues, although they did hint that they would have preferred the Valentine cookies. Maybe I'll humour them and bring some tomorrow.

Also, I noticed my first follower today! :) I'm new at this whole blogging thing, and sometimes I wonder (just like Julie in 'Julie & Julia') if anyone actually reads this. It's nice to know someone does, especially if I know them ;) Though the main reason is that this is just much better than posting one-liners on FB all the time. Yes, I am pleased :)

BUT the best thing today was the dinner I cooked. I found this great recipe online for potato and chorizo gratin. I used a little more potatoes and a little less creme fraiche than the recipe called for but it still came out very yummy :) Sadly I didnt take pictures as my version looked nothing like the cookbook version after being served, but then that's always the case when serving food that came out of an oven dish.
But check out the recipe here:, it's amazing!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Check out the flowers I received from the bf :) Arent they gorgeous? I love purple :) No, they're not roses as we are against roses on V-Day due to the fact that they're especially imported for just this one day and they're usually full of chemicals and stuff. And I just love my bouquet so who needs roses? :)

I wanted to make the bf an edible present and spent most of the day in the kitchen actually. So much for our romantic day together... while I was baking I also made more banana cookies as I still have bananas left from last week, and I made enough soup to last me the whole week for lunch :)

In the spirit of V-Day I made these yummy heart shaped cookies :) They're plain butter cookies with streaks of milk chocolate and white chocolate made pink with food colouring. I think they came out quite well :) I also made a giant chocolate heart but forgot to take a picture of it and the bf has already dug into that one!

I still had these star-shaped cookie cutters that I bought a while back (a looong while back) that I wanted to try. As some of the butter cookies were chocolate flavoured, I made the two-in-one stars like the wrapper said. It was so much fun :) I'll get the heart-shaped ones for next year's Valentine.

For a change (and frugality) we stayed home for dinner, the bf cooked and it was really yummy and comfortable at home. No traffic problems, no drunken waiters, no gigantic V-Day increased food bill. Yes, it was a good day. I hope y'all had a great day also!

London Stitch & Craft Show

Finally it was Saturday, the day of the Stitch & Craft Show! I got up early, got ready, managed to take all the right tubes and replacement buses as of course the TFL wasnt working properly again during the weekend, and arrived with time to spare at the venue. It wasnt as crowded as last year but that quickly changed the closer it got to 12pm. Sadly I didnt see anyone from my craft group who were supposed to be here, but I did meet up with Nada whom I hadnt seen in about a year. It was so nice to catch up again! A whole day of talking only about sewing and no one who complained :) I took some pics of the fair and also of the things I bought:

The entrance:
Some pictures of various stalls:
(more about this woman in the funny outfit later)
This stall had the cutest little witch hanging in their stall and I just had to photograph it!

Isnt is the cutest? I just had to :)

Of course some shopping was also done. Here is Nada shopping for beads...

And we tried to get a picture of me with a decent 'crafty' background. I actually bought some flowers here after for on a hat. It was so warm in there though!

Then we spotted this stall with the good beads :) They were selling large glass beads for only £2 each or 6 for £10 which was really good. In no time there were way too many people crowding around the little beading area.

Nada has also bought some beads :)

I then managed to strike up a conversation with the woman in the funny outfit. I thought I'd seen her on the Hoff show that was on E4 a while ago (yes, I like the Hoff, he is an icon. It is my weakness LOL) and it was actually her! What they do is they do a lot for charity and they sew a lot of buttons on their clothing. It's really heavy though. She told me the funniest thing about the Hoff show though: Because he was a recovering alcoholic, they werent allowed to drinka alcohol during the filming of the interview (which took place in the pub of course). So they all (somewhat unhappily) sipped their non-alcoholic drinks) when the Hoff walks in: completely smashed out of his head. So they all ran to the bar and ordered proper drinks. Hilarious!! This is her in her full buttony glory:

We walked around a little more and did some more essential shopping until it was finally time to go back home. I was sooo sleepy afterwards! But at least we managed to get our picture together in the tube in the last minute!

And this is the loot of the day:

A device to turns straps inside out (the last time I had to do this it took me an hour for one strap!), four rolls of ribbon (two glittery ones for the Mombi dress, and two with wire to make flowers) and one free mini-roll of red with orange dots, three necklaces with glass beads, a book on how to make cool sock puppets, metallic fowers for on a hat, metallic ribbon to make a bow for said hat, and pumpkin buttons (I spent ages looking through the box for two of the same ones!

All in all quite good I'd say :) Plus I had a great day!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

So many more projects...

Thursday evening, nearly weekend at last! I'm surprised that I'm actually blogging even though my day was extremely uneventful. Oh how I would like to have another run like Christmas where I had 11 days all to myself with nothing to do but sewing and watch movies :) Yes, I love sewing while movies are running in the background. That way I can make noise through all the boring parts ;) And I would get so much stuff done! But hey, one thing at a time. I have now decided that I would make only one more tube card holder for a friend and whoever else wants one, I'm going to charge them. Mean you think? Possibly... but all my friends now have them so any more would be for others I barely know or friends of friends and I need to get started on the Mombi dress and not make these things all the time which totally eats into my planning.

Speaking of planning and projects, has anyone ever heard of Day Zero - 101 Projects in 1001 Days? It's a really cool website where you enter 101 projects that you want to finish within the next three years (it can be anything really) and whenever you finish something you can just tick it off as done. Extremely handy me thinks :) Check it out here: It's free an you can search other people's lists (at least not unless you know who they are I think) and I think it beats post-its everywhere!

Only two more days until the Stitch and Craft Show! Even though am being super frugal, cant wait to go here. :) Which reminds me, I need to check with Nada when she wants to meet (she might even read this! LOL). I'll find gold ribbons there for the Mombi dress. Oh yes, this is the Mombi dress by the way:

Yes, it will be a challenge, especially since I have less than two months. Deadline is Easter Monday. So fingers crossed!! Yes, should really start cutting underskirt slowly... 

UPDATE 19 JUNE 2013: Oh my, references are so much better three years later! The amount of pictures is amazing, so many good angles :)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Baking Soda

I know it's late but I just had to share this! Part of the lovely dinner tonight were chipolatas as the bf really likes those. I usually hate making them (even though I like them too) as they ruin my baking trays when I cook them in the oven. Yes, I know I dont have to use a baking tray but for the time being this is definitely the more hygienic option. Anyway, tonight I had an idea. Well, I used an idea from this website which is simply fantastic, but nonetheless I USED the idea. I have some baking soda which is out of date and I really wanted to be frugal and not just waste stuff. So after I made and served the chipolatas, I put the baking tray on the counter and added water and baking soda. Now normally we soak the trays for the whole night and still have to scrub like mad to get all the stuff off. Not tonight. I soaked it for maybe three hours and even when I poured out the water half the stuff was already gone! After that some minimal scrubbing and that was it, it was all clean :)

It might sound bizarre to get so excited about baking soda but it's all about being frugal and as the famous saying goes: every little helps :)

It's just one of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days where pretty much everything seems to be going wrong? OMG... today was totally like that. The working day just wouldnt end and THEN: as I walked out of my offce building, I walked towards the main gate as usual, passing the front door of the next building where a guy was slowly walking towards the door. I moved aside to make some space so that he could turn the corner as I passed. The guy COMPLETELY DIDNT SEE ME, walked into me and tripped me over! I of course went fying, everything I was carrying landing everywhere around me. At this point I was really quite annoyed and in pain. So instead of doing the English thing and saying 'it's alright, dont worry about it, I'll go home and suffer in private', I really had quite a go at the guy telling him to watch where he's going and that it is very possible that someone is walking on the side walk on a busy road. I even told him I knows where he works so if I'm in pain tomorrow I would know where to find him! Not my best moment but I was really totally stunned that someone could be SO blind and just run me over like that. ON FOOT!

I made it home ok where I iced my knee which is now all pretty and slightly swollen and still painful, and decided to cook to calm down. I made a lovely yet simple dinner and also these cookies:
Their from this website
They're amazing! Only need bananas, oats, dates or sultanas, vegetable oil, and a little vanilla essence. No sugar or butter at all! I can highly recommend these :)

On a more positive note than the knee incident, I gave my boss his tube card holder. He was surprised I had already finished it, and I think he even liked it :) I have uploaded the pics below:

I actually got received one more request but I am supposed to be sewing my underskirt tonight. Maybe I'll just cut the fabric tonight as also have to do some actual housework ;) Let's see how far I get, it's only 9.30pm so I still have a little time. R&R also much needed!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

My first ever blog

Hello world,

This is going to sound so cheesy but this will be my first ever blog. I always thought I would never have time but as I am not forced to watch Galactica (sorry, not entirely convinced by this show at this point in time) and facebook is getting more boring by the second with all their new layouts, I thought I'd send some thoughts out into the space of the world wide web. Wow, I really do sound like a bad movie ;) I did get the idea from the movie 'Julie and Julia' which I recently saw on the plane while flying back to London from San Francisco.

Yes, I live in London. Normally people would think I am so busy going out every night as everyone knows London has many events and there is always something to do. Yes... after nearly 5 years I've kinda seen it. My passion in life: sewing! I have read many interesting sewing blogs online and I can only hope that mine will be half as interesting as they are. :)

Last year, 2009, was a bad year for sewing. Accept for a Hermione cloak which I made for my niece upon request, I have done barely anything. Meaning I need to catch up, and fast. So far, 2010 is going well and I have many projects done or in process :) The big challenge will come soon: my Mombi costume for the Elf Fantasy Fair in the Netherlands. I will do my best to upload a day-by-day picture update which should be really fun.

On Sunday, after struggling with a top I was making from Burda's Easy Fashion magazine, I wanted to make something easy and cute. Having bought a LOT of Halloween fabric for my Halloween quilt in the States, and not having startd yet (a project already 3 years in the making), I decided to use some of the gorgeous fabrics to make a Tube Card Holder. For all non-UK readers: in London we have 'tube cards' for public transport which looks like a credit card and needs to be 'beeped' whenever going through gates at bus or underground. Currently only plastic holders are available which are bad for the environment and of course break easily. Enter fabric :) I made this gorgeous tube card holder of which I am extremely proud even though it's super easy yet not perfect. Check it out, what do you think?

Halloween tube card holder front:
Back: And the inside:
By the time I got to work on Monday morning, I was extremely pleased with this already. So I showed to some colleagues and have now already 4 more as per their request! The first two I havent photographed, one was pink for a colleague who loves pink and is going to bedazzle hers, and the second one has blue and white 'deck chair' stripes for one of my male colleagues. It seems he has lost his ticket only last month and needed something like this with a string so that wouldnt happen again. They were both very pleased :) My boss also wanted one but he told me to surprise him which was a little tricky. I made him a Star Wars one which I hope he'll like. Pics will follow shortly. I made one more in red with gingerbread men as a suprise for a friend. I really think I need a new project though ;) I will try to post instructions at a later date (and hopefully earlier time).
Speaking of which, this weekend the Mombi project is planned to commence. Hopefully I'll get a chance to cut the fabric before Saturday for the underskirt at least.

Well, I think this was long enough for my first post. Thanx for having me and keep sewing, I know I will :)
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