The picture above is for a friend who was/is a Biba girl. Sometimes you take friendships for granted. Other times you hold them close. Every now and again you fling them far far away. Today was a hold close day. Not only does my friend make a mean coffee, she also tells it straight. Which is a very good and rare trait. What a woman.
Life has been lets say, colourful, this past year. Straight talking is much appreciated when you’re walking through a Hall of Mirrors.
Original before refurb, still dripping from its pavement adventures
Refurbished and beuatiful
Just in case you haven’t guessed what it is…
VERY hard to get this blue button btw
Look, it works!
And yes, it rose properly!
You might remember that I found a vintage Kenwood mixer out on the pavement near my house while on the school run. Well, my Other Half whisked it away (pun intended) and recently delivered it back, all spruced up, shiny and as good as new. New paint job, motor refurb end, the lot. All for the price of a broken donor machine (£15) that he used to replace some missing parts. Clever boy.
My mother had a Kenwood and licking cake mix off the Mixer hook was a Proustian moment this afternoon. The cake was made to help energise a flagging family following a lovely sleepover at an old schoolfriend’s house. My very clever friend had published a cookbook to raise funds for a little girl called Mimi to have the same operation as my NCT friend’s son, Daniel. Great recipes. Here’s a link if you want to spice up your culinary activities…highly recommended. Try the Thai noodles.
This is my 500th post!!!! How strange I’m still tapping away, I never thought this blog would be such a key part of my life. Don’t you just love technology?
Anyway, hopefully by now you’ve done your shopping and will be contemplating the marathon that is wrapping. Now, I like a glass of wine, sweeties and music when I wrap but I also know that that way lies alcoholism – 9am is way too early to crack open the plonk. Yes, it is.
So, here are some ideas for making wrapping more interesting. Buttons are your friend but you DO have to part with some of them occasionally (counselling is available) and here’s my seasonal sacrifice. These presents are for very good friends who I trust with buttons. Philistines will get bows.
First up, a simple 2 button layered thingy. Tie ribbon round the parcel and then thread the buttons on. Tie a knot. Tie long bits of ribbon round the shank of the buttons and curl it up by running the edge of your scissors along the length of the ribbon.
Next up a little Christmas tree. Layer green buttons until you are happy…voila!
Something a bit more complicated, but still fast. I used jewellery wire, threaded a shanked button on first, folder the wire double and then threaded white vintage buttons on to make a ‘stem’. I had a ribbon flower in my stash which I threaded thru the wire and finished off with more buttons. The looped wire was joined together by twisting it under the buttons, hiding the join. The whole ornament can be used later to hang on the tree for example. I added ribbon to the present to prettify.
Finally, a scrap of red felt, cut into a heart shape and a red button stitched onto it was stitched onto some shiny chiffon ribbon. Nothing else, just a simple motif. It’s my favourite I think.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, truly. I’ve been in Brixham this weekend with some good girlfriends (like my present from them?!) and also managed to catch up with High and Dry in Brixham’s Vicky. She’s so lovely. We’ve had a wonderful, chatty, chocolate laden time.
And I’ve loved it. But I miss my boys, all of them. So I’m on my way home now, looking for hugs and kisses. Lucky me.
Well, I am another year older. You can tell by the pink doughnuts. A very dear friend presented me with them as my towering, sugary birthday cake. Fab.
I ventured into homemade sushi via jam tarts, blueberry cakes and iced biscuits. All washed down with tea and coffee from my charidee cups. And my lovely friends. I’m so lucky. So, nothing else right now, just thank goodness for friends, doughnuts and caffeine!!
Look at the lovely card I got today! My very good friend the scrapbook fairy made it. Isn’t she clever? Here’s her blog. It’s my farewell card from work. I’ll tell you later about what was enclosed in it!
Busy weekend at Stitch Towers. Again. I am no longer an employee so I can’t wow you with my stunning commuter shots or my train related nonsense. So busy weekends are somewhat of a godsend, material wise.
I spent a large chunk celebrating a good friend’s 50th. Here he is, kilted up and pogo-ing. Which can be a hazardous combo. And draughty.
I’m entering a new stage in life and while it’s stressy, it’s ultimately the kind of stress I thrive on. I talked business a lot last night and had a wonderful time, finding out others’ dreams and plans. All that ambition and fervour just waiting to be unleashed.
Redundancy is a bit like a forest fire. It rushes around you and threatens your bubble but it can also bring in its wake the space we all need to start again.
I like change. I always have. And I like space. Sorted.
I’ve mentioned the helpdanielfindhisfeet campaign before. I’m so happy that they are almost at the £54k target. Amazing. One last push needed!
Last night was our little shove, a dinner party where we charged the 7 guests £10 each and then challenged ourselves to make the entire spread on a £10 budget plus whatever was in our storecupboad. It was BYO obviously. I mean, booze too would be impossible.
Anyway, it was a roaring success I’m relieved to report. We invited a mix of folk who didn’t all know each other and that thankfully worked out well. So well I’ve had the grand total of 3 hours sleep! Yawn! And I cooked!!! Now, I dont normally do cooking but I did the starter and pudding and my friend, The Child Whisperer, made the main. We had:
Guacamole and toast Beetroot risotto – a pink heart!!! Try this recipe, it’s delicious!
Walnut and Stilton tart Chocolate sorbet with blackberry sauce – I’d do this in little dishes next time though.
And the blackberries came from my garden so we got a bit of foraging into the agenda too. In fact we sent some of the guests out to collect the garnish!
And a bowl of dosh at the end….the perfect digestif.
The ladies what knit have been very lovely recently. I’ve told you about Daniel, the little boy who has been one of Elder’s friends from birth. His parents have moved heaven and earth to raise almost half of the £54,000 they need to give him a potentially life-changing operation. Imagine having the chance of helping your child walk. Of helping them move away from the discomfort and exhaustion that cerebral palsy brings with it. Well, you’d move heaven a bit too, wouldn’t you.
So, back to my ladies. OK, the earth didn’t quite tilt on its axis but everyone was so kind and came along for tea, cake, wine (ahem) and blatant fund raising banter. We made a bit more to help and we widened the circle of people who know about the Quest for Cash.
We had a raffle too. Thanks to Christine and Julie for their beautiful prizes. And Elder donated the above button-ribbon combo. I was quite touched. It was the first prize to go too, which he was thrilled about! Yarn power!
If you fancy help move the earth a bit more, please wander over to Daniel’s blog and the fabulous auction that is going on. Weekend flit to New York anyone?! House in Brittany?! Have a click!
OK, so I couldn’t help the title of this post. We went to a very good friend’s house today for a lovely day of picnics, screaming children, cups of tea, splashing in rivers and general mayhem. The difference being that this beautiful house is over 30 miles away from us and the aforementioned friend has just left Stitchopolis for its undoubted charms. It is in fact a manor house and it’s been her parents’ place ever since she was born. She is obviously in love with it and I’m so happy for her. But I will miss her being round the corner.
Today was brilliant. Close friends all together. I forget sometimes how valuable a true friend is, though how I forget I have no clue since my bunch of mates are always being leaned on by shaky me. We got back from Brixham late last night so this morning was frantic baking hampered slightly by having only 4oz of butter in the house. I made tomato little pies with that and then muffins and jelly. Muffins were very off the cuff but damn, they were good. The strawberry muffin recipe from the good old Be-ro book but with over ripe bananas substituted for jam and oil for butter. Big thanks to Mumsnet for help re using oil rather than butter. The real 4th emergency service.
And then off to Amazing Manor, my friend’s new pile. I kid you not, it’s a real Manor house. With a Massive Door, and Wonky Stone Floor and no doubt, aristocratic spiders. It’s absolutely beautiful but the best thing isn’t the bricks and wattle and daub. No, it’s the family history woven into it. Photos, paintings, stuff. Love it. As did both Elder and Little One.
And back home for sleepy, shrieky baths and bed. And a quick THANKYOU card knocked up using fabric, quilt wadding and a card blank.