Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Back in the saddle

Having been away from my sewing machine for too long, I needed a quick project to 'get my eye back in'. 
I found some log cabin blocks from too long ago in the cupboard. These were made with the intention of using up my fabric scraps and making a large quilt. 
I have forgone the idea of a quilt, and decided to make the blocks up as place mats - a much more realistic option!
The details if you're interested: blocks are freezer paper foundation pieced, using measurements from this tutorial from Melly & Me. Finished block size = 5 inches; finished sashing width = 1 inch; bind cut 1.5 inches; finished placemat size = 19.5 x 13.5 inches.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Daybook entry #12

Outside my window ... the lavender is flowering, the day is clear, but in the manner of late summer in Australia, the clouds will build during the day and threaten storms in the evening.
From the kitchen ... nothing much is brewing other than strong, strong coffee today. But Saturday saw Miss 16 whip up a storm. Her Jamie-30-minute-meal this week was green curry, crispy chicken, kimchee slaw, and rice noodles. Definitely not a 30-minute meal, but very much worth the wait.
At my machine ... a new design for Homespun, with a Friday deadline!
I am listening to ... my brain whir and clunk as I write the pattern for aforesaid design.

I am reading ... The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam of U-Handbag, an excellent resource for construction methods, and crucial to aforesaid pattern writing ;)
In the mail today ... after sifting through the volumes of Valentines (!), there was this little gift from my ever thoughtful friend Wendy. Knowing my partiality to vintage trims and packaging, she spotted these bells for me recently. They are the sweetest, and their tinkle is a sparkle in my day. Who needs valentines with friends like these?! 
But to be sure, a vintage valentine, just for you :)  Bloom x

Monday, 6 February 2012

Perhaps Jamie is a godsend after all!

While having a 16-year-old daughter is not always plain sailing, we are reaping the benefits of her insatiable interest in learning to cook. High on her Christmas list was a copy of 'Jamie's 30-Minute Meals'.

She has decided that each Saturday she will cook us dinner from this book, as her way of relaxing and taking a break from study. She plans to do this all year - oooooh yeah!

Her debut meal for the year was 'soooo good': wonky summer pasta with herby salad (above), followed by pear drop tartlets (below). I'm not sure what I enjoyed more; the delicious food or not having to cook!

Jamie Oliver has obviously worked hard to deliver a 'cookbook with a difference' with '30-Minute Meals'. He gives instructions for for an entire meal, so that his method alternates step-wise between recipes for a main meal and a dessert. You can see what I'm talking about over at his website where he gives some sample recipes from the book. 

The jury is still out as to whether they can indeed be cooked in 30 minutes. I suspect not, but the recipes are achievable, and based on Saturday night's performance, super tasty. Mmmmmm, a whole new reason to look forward to Saturdays for me :)
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