Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Celebrate Oz 2012

Heyhey again everyone!
After a busy weekend, I'm slowly getting into the creativeness again and today's it's time for Linda's Celebrate Oz 2012 blog party over at Olde Baggs 'n' Stuffed Shirts!

As I didn't want to blog about my Mombi dress yet again, I needed a new project. I mean, sure I loooove my dress but I've already blogged about it way too much... So time for a new project, but what to do? With the events of the past few weeks, my life was not exactly Oz related and another costume was not needed really, but wait I still had those gorgeous fabrics I won last year at the giveaway from Quilts Sew Shabby! Remember these?

Not to worry if you don't really. My favourite piece is the one on the top right and I really don't want to cut it up so I haven't used that bit yet. But after about a year of thinking about using these fabrics I actually came up with an idea that was both practical and cute :) I decided to make toiletry bags! No, not as boring as it may sound... I've had this one purple toiletry bag for about 10 years and while it's still in very good condition, it's also driving me up the wall as it's too big. I wanted something practical like the one I made for the bf on Christmas. Naturally there were some tiny mistakes but the result is quite nice and I really love both bags now. Maybe even enough for another trip so I can actually use them ;)

This is what I made, aren't the the cutest?!

I started off with a small makeup bag. You know for when you only need to take a few things... This was one side, showing Dorothy and Scarecrow when they meet the Tin Man.

The other side quoting 'No heart, all hollow' which is what the Tin Man says when he tells Dorothy and the Scarecrow about wanting a heart.

I got this fabric from a friend and it was just perfect as now it's not all hollow anymore and there are plenty of hearts! I think it's hilarious and great pun. Could be just me though ;)

The makeup bag is just perfect for some eyeshadow, a lipstick, and mascara. Plus it fits inside the bigger bag which is even better! I just made this bag flat by sewing two squares together and adding a black zipper. It was the best way to show off the cool prints.

The larger bag I made out of two different pieces of Oz fabric, highlighted with yellow flower fabric and some blue gingham and a pink zipper. I used the pink fabric that I don't like too much for the lining so it looks very Glinda-esque :)

Originally I had planned on using red shoes of some sort as a charm for the zipper. However, it's been a year and I have been unable to find shoes that I liked, so I used this witch hat instead. This was a button type thingy but for scrapbooking so without any holes in it. I made the hole with a hot needle and just used a tiny keyring to attach it. I think it looks cute and very appropriate as the hat was all that was left of the Wicked Witch of the West!

 I had to use a pink zipper as the black one broke just before I wanted to sew it in. Oops... But as Glinda is featured it's all good. I also added this tiny bit of blue gingham to make it easier to open the bag. Blue gingham is after all what Dorothy's dress is made of! The yellow on the sizes I had to add as I didn't want this bag to be flat but my original pieces were too small to get this triangular effect. I chose the yellow as it's of course the colour of the yellow brick road :)

 It fits my basic toiletries perfectly :) Yes, these are just some things I grabbed for the picture, but I really don't need much more when we go away for only a few days.

 And these are the bags again! My tiny makeup bag and the toiletries bag, made out of some of my lovely Wizard of Oz fabrics :) Of course I had to watch the movie while making these so I felt even more inspired.

Thank you Linda for hosting this blog party again and I hope you like what I've done with it this year. Now let's fly and check out all the other entries... fly my pretties, fly fly!!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Another Wedding Attended

Hi everyone!
It's still busy around here, it seems to be wedding season and for some reason this time for lots of people we know. No, that doesn't mean I will post about every wedding we attend hihi... Last weekend we spent at a wedding in Windsor which was really lovely and there were even a few mins of dry weather to take some pictures outside. Yes really... since then it has pretty much rained non-stop but what can you do, it's England after all.

I'm really trying to craft some more but with all these events it is tricky getting some time in. All these events of course also need to be arranged which is my part of the job so it can be quite nerve-wrecking sometimes. But the wedding was good, I'm a sucker for romance anyway ;) Let me show you some pictures, you'll agree... 

 Let's start with the food, in true Hobbit style ;) The food was very nice, simple but really good. This was dessert, a chocolate mousse with fruit stuff (I didn't eat the fruit stuff, there was chocolate!). It was so good that I ate the bf's too! hahaha...

Just look at this bouquet. I think the pearls are a really nice touch, first time I've seen this actually but then I don't attend too many weddings. Again, simple yet classy. I'm liking this wedding :) 

And then this cake, OMG! And it tasted so good! I couldn't stop taking pictures of it, but this was the one that showed the fruit the best. It was really really nice. And pretty too :)

With all that red, some purple was needed. Well, they did invite me (us) after all so they also invited the purple. Hihi... luckily there were lots of people in purple so I didn't stand out too much. But I did seem to have a LOT in this colour ;)

 I couldn't decide what to wear so I played it safe (again) with the purple vintage dress combined with my mother's vintage necklace. The thing that made me choose the purple dress in the last minute over the really cute white and black one that I had planned to wear (other than that wearing whitish is frowned upon if you're not the bride): that tiny little handbag that I found in the charity shop for £1.50! Score!

A moment without rain. Yes, that's our second home in the background there. If the Queen ever moves that is, hihi! Nah, just kidding... For all who don't know: behind us is Windsor Castle....

And of course the happy couple :) They looked so happy together! You can't really see the dress here but trust me it's nice :) Very elegant and just poofy enough. 

We had a lovely time and it took me a few days to recover from all the eating, drinking, and socialising... just in time for our next adventure... More of that soon!

Monday, 9 July 2012

Another Year at London Zoo Lates

Hi everyone!
Do you remember when we went to London Zoo Lates last year? Not to worry if you don't, I nearly forgot also until I accidentally saw an ad for it on the tube. Normally, tickets cost £20 and for some reason I couldn't find a cheaper deal and I didn't want to pay that much so we nearly didn't go. Then, in the last minute, there was a deal. Whoohoo! 50% off so of course we went :)

And this time I even got to see the turtles!

 It was so much busier than last year! The weather was worse but I guess last year's fun had become public knowledge and there were hundreds of people. There was lots of food of course and since everyone came straight from work, the queues were horrendous to get something to eat. Luckily I'd planned ahead and had a big lunch. I mean, the taco queue was like a mile long! On the other hand, who wants to eat a taco in the zoo anyway? Must be tricky to eat that and walk at the same time...

 After finding our friends and waiting for them to eat, we headed off to see the animals. Just look at the sky! Don't get me wrong, it wasn't warm, but we had BLUE sky :)

 We saw the giraffes of course, I love the giraffes :) You could tell it was cold as last year they were all still outside at this time and now they were all indoors already.

 We passed all the animals we saw last year as I knew they would all be put to bed at 9ish so we headed for the aquarium to see the lovely fish. Yes, that's me :)

 Gorgeous coral

 We also missed the snakes last year so I insisted on seeing them also. They were really cool, and there was even one snake like the one above who was very active and very Harry Potter like. It was great fun although impossible to photograph...

And indeed the sea turtles :) Very cute!

By the time we had finished with the snakes it was 9pm and most of the animals were in 'bed' already. Plus the people were getting a bit annoying and were having more to drink than normal. That combined with a long day at work for both the bf and myself resulted in an early exit and we left straight after. It was good fun again but much less than last year (also to do with not everyone being able to make it) so I may give next year a miss. But hey, who knows what can happen until then!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Recipe - Apple Cider Cake

Heyhey everyone!
As my last baking day kind of fell in the water due to my lack of butter and sugar and motivation to leave the house and buy some, I only made my usual banana-chocolate cake and none of the other yummy things I had planned. Luckily I now have eggs, butter, sugar, and motivation so let the baking continue! I have this recipe book which is basically a collection of recipe that people email me or I find online or I get from friends and family by hovering over them while they cook and bake, so not all of the recipe have a source of origin. So also this one, the recipe for this lovely apple cider cake. I received this via email a long long time ago and I wasn't able to track down the origin of it. 

A little while ago I hosted a small dinner and my guests kindly brought some drinks. Including a small bottle of apple cider. After the left, the bottle of cider was still unopened so we put it in the press for another party. But when I found this recipe in my trusty binder I knew the cider was destined for my cake :)

 Doesn't it just look scrumptious? Ignore the thick edges, it needed longer than an hour and I may have left it in a few mins too long...

Yes yes, I know you must want the recipe :) Here it goes!

You need:
  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
Preheat oven to 350F. Sift together the first four ingredients and set aside. Beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs and mix. Alternately, add the flour mixture and the apple cider. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Place the batter into a well-buttered loaf tin. Bake at 350F for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out dry. With my oven I needed 70 minutes for the cake to be done, but usually an hour should be enough.

 Check out this beauty! It rose so high it actually hit the upper oven wall! 

This is quite a heavy and dense cake as opposed to light and fluffy, and better suited for autumn/winter times, but when I saw the cider I just had to use it. All in all I quite liked it :) 

Let me know what you think of it if you make this, and happy baking!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Recipe - Rhubarb Muffins

Hi everyone!
Ok, so the crafting thing isn't working yet except for my cross stitch which is slowly but surely progressing nicely, but anything else is not being done right now even though I have many projects in mind but somehow cannot yet decide on the exact layout so it will have to wait a few more days. 

In the meantime, however, I've been baking :) Such yummy goodies that I just had to share. This weekend I made rhubarb muffins. I LOVE rhubarb muffins! The whole sweet/sour idea is really nice, and yes it contains a lot of sugar but that's why the muffins are so small, hihi ;) 

Because the rhubarb will give the muffins a pink centre, I used pink cupcake liners for these muffins. I even found some princess ones in Poundland, complete with designs of wands, shoes, and tiny handbags on them. Too cute! Good thing the bf didn't notice ;)

You want to know the recipe? It originally came from here. I got it via email from a friend but I managed to track it down online :)

You need:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. additional sugar
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 c. cut up rhubarb
Stir together rhubarb and 2 tablespoons of sugar and set aside. Spray large muffin cups with vegetable oil cooking spray. Beat egg, stir in milk and oil. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add rhubarb/sugar mix to dry ingredients. Add liquid mixture, stir just until moistened. Do not over mix. Fill large muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Loosen immediately with spatula.
This recipe will make 6 large muffins or 12 regular sized muffins. And they are soooooo good! You MUST try them :) After all, it is the season for it!

I would love to know what you think of these, I think are absolutely divine. Please let me know and happy baking!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

When Bloggers meet Bloggers

So imagine this, you're taking a large group of sewing girls to the fabric district of west London and while in the shop you randomly meet other bloggers. *squeel!* Cue totally girly reaction and lots of blog and fabric talk. This is what happened when we were in the shops at Goldhawk Road and we met Dibs from Dibs in the Machine and Claire from Sew Incidentally. Of course we swapped blog info immediately and I was just on their blogs and guess what I found? This gorgeous picture of us together: 

We tried about 10 times to get this not blurry which was really quite amusing. I got the piccie from Dibs' website, I hope she doesn't mind me watermarking it. I have become painfully aware that people think everything on the internet is free so am trying to watermark everything... 

It was lovely meeting these girls, and they've signed up to Meetup so we might be seeing more of them soon :) I just love meeting other bloggers, it happens way too rarely. Oh yes, you have to check out the posts they've written about the shopping trip as they actually took pics while shopping also, unlike our group hihi... although I did notice this pic on Claire's blog, hope you dont mind me borrowing this Claire (otherwise please so let me know), it's our group! So cool to have this pic! :)

It was lovely to meet you all and hope to see you again soon!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Inspiration and Fabric Shopping Trip

Hi everyone!
I'm slowly getting back to my crafty roots and working actively on my cross stitch at the very least. It's looking good so far, and by the amount of squares I've crossed off on the pattern it looks like I've come a long way but sadly it really doesn't look like that yet on the actual fabric. But am sure with patience I'll get there :)

As I also wanted to get back into sewing as my poor sewing machine is starting to feel lonely, I organised a fabric shopping trip in Shepherds Bush Market last Saturday with the Sewing and Craft groups. We were about 15 people and boy was it tricky to keep the 'herd' together! That much fabric can be quite exciting... 

We met at Goldhawk Road tube station went up the road towards the Green, crossed the street and back down the road until we hit the market, going into EACH AND EVERY fabric shop we passed along the way.Unfortunately, we were way too distracted by the pretty fabrics to take a lot of pictures, but one member of the group managed to take some in the market and during the post-shopping-desperately-needed-drinks-and-snacks at the Bush Theatre Cafe.

Some of us in Shepherds Bush Market. This was nearly the last stall we went to (check out the lovely haberdashery in the background!) so we all look a little worse for wear.

 Yay coffee and cake at last! What a great way to end a successful shopping trip :) Much needed as we'd started at noon and I'd told everyone to eat beforehand as I knew once we'd sit down that would be the end of the shopping and the plan was to visit each and every shop.

 Loot loot! Excellent cottons and lining fabrics were found by my friend J. here. As it was a lovely day with blue skies and everything, a beer was not amiss at all :)

 My very best purchase of the day: a tiny PURPLE tin containing a PURPLE measuring tape! And only for £1.50! I was in heaven :) And yes I bought two of them ;)

 Trying out the infamous measuring tape on my friend G.'s new fabrics. The picture doesn't quite show it but it really is purple! 

My loot of the day: cotton fabrics!! I have to many cotton quilting fabrics that I just dont have enough of to make a project so these will fill that up rather nicely me thinks :) I'm trying to stay away from dress fabrics at the moment as I need to get through my current stash first. It look very colourful here but rest assured, they're not all for the same project ;) I only bought half a meter of each fabric so I didn't spend too much money and I won't end up with mountains of leftover fabric. See, am learning!

It was an exhausting day but oh so much fun! I haven't started to pre-wash yet but I'll do that later. Hopefully soon there will be some lovely finished items :) But for now, let's watch some telly and do some more cross stitch ;) Although....
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