a purse from a dress

Do you remember this dress? I was wearing it yesterday and it made me feel all warm and snug and very much cosseted. Then I spied a remnant of the wool in my cupboard. Not enough for another garment, unfortunately, but enough to satisfy my sudden urge to make up some more purses. And perhaps a cushion to come, we'll see.

Probably the last of the woollen purses for the shop this season, although these are the first I have made this year so far as it happens. I sewed a length of vintage hemp-coloured lace onto one side and used some of my precious 1930's rosy posy fabric for the lining, picking out the blue in the check.

I have managed to give myself tendonitis in my right arm (blaming childrens' school bags here but I suspect it's more likely the excessive pinning I've been doing lately!) and have promised the Physiotherapist that Messrs Cameron and Osborne have very kindly provided that I'd go a little easier on the computer for a while. Easier said than done but if it gets to the stage that I can't use my sewing machine I shall be one very unhappy bunny. And heaven forfend I should be forced to give up on the washing up!!

As well as a series of exercises I've been given, I've been told to pack my arm in ice for ten minutes, twice a day. Is she nuts? That's never going to happen, it's -1.5 deg out there today and as I look out of my window I can see something falling from the sky. I'm thinking it may be snow!

Have a lovely week.


loose ends

Thank you so so much for your lovely, encouraging comments on my last post, I can't express how much I appreciate those sentiments.

I've been spending time making up the bags that I like to pack my jewellery in before sending them off to good homes. It's quite cathartic really. I did a job lot of cutting out both floral fabric and linings last week and then, with an hour to spare before school pick up on Friday, I sewed them together. Finally, whilst the husband was reading the Model her bedtime story that night I snuck upstairs to finish off the loose ends of thread. A vintage button to stitch on and I shall have a good pile to see me through a while to come and even better, I now have some time to devote to sewing up another dress. So many ideas flooding my head at the moment.

I've been quite productive since the children got back to school earlier this month, I think starting the new year has given me the push I needed to get into second gear. Oh and one thing I forgot to mention last week is that my chandelier earrings are currently being featured in UK Handmade's Valentine showcase.

By the way, apparently last Monday was 'Blue Monday', supposedly the most miserable day of the year. I actually felt quite chirpy then but the weather today is damp and grey to say the very least.

What are you up to?


aubergine shift dress

I must confess to feeling a little excited right now. Giddy, even. You see, the Husband has been spending rather a lot of his spare time building a new website for me. One which, hopefully, might work. Unlike the last one which was hastily pushed to one side and ignored once it became clear we couldn't add payment options without investing a small fortune. Kind of important really and frustrating too, because whoever heard of a business where you can look but can't buy? All the categories, product text and photos have been uploaded. There are some tricky adjustments to be made but I'm hoping there may be something to show off soon. Ish!

As well as jewellery and purses, I'm venturing into a little clothing. A few things for girls and an assortment of dresses and tunics for women, the sort of things I like to wear myself and all in limited numbers. This is my first piece, a simple style shift, using the most amazing ex-Burberry medium weight cotton I found. Perfect for now with a cardi, for Spring, early Summer, Autumn, this fabric is truly special. Dress it up or dress it down.

The colour is difficult to describe but the fabric has been tightly woven with burgundy and black threads, resulting in an aubergine-y shade that changes with the light. I prefer simplicity but another reason for retaining it here is to let this fabric shine, indeed there is a very slight sheen on the surface. There is the merest touch of embellishment, in the form of some Japanese embroidered linen trim at the neckline.

Anyway, whilst I await my new website, where this dress is destined, it can be bought right here, right now .. unless I cave in and start wearing it myself, that is! Details below.

But where are my manners? Before Christmas I won a couple of giveaways and didn't get round to posting about them. I promise faithfully my Mother brought me up to be better than that!

The first was Vivienne's prize which consisted of, amongst many gorgeous goodies, some of her beautifully knitted and crocheted brooches and a bar of G&B's. Sadly I wasn't the only one who was delighted when her envelope dropped onto the mat, and I quickly lost out on most of the loot. Thank you Vivienne. The second was Ginny's woollen heart, so pretty and completely my colour scheme, it is currently hanging on one of my wardrobe door handles, so I can see it each day. Thanks so much Ginny!

It's such a beautiful sunny day here in London so I'm off to take a photo of the sky. I joined Annie's Project Sky 365 last week and it's a lot of fun finding out what everyone else is seeing when they look upwards. You can join in here if you like.

Have a lovely week, everyone.

Aubergine Shift Dress

100% medium weight cotton (ex-Burberry)
Embroidered linen trim
UK Size 10 (body measurements 34/27/37)
Currently unhemmed
Gentle machine wash
Free UK delivery (please ask for international rates)

* enough fabric to make again in size 8, 10 or 12


energy boosting

Hello, hello and a Happy New Year to one and all.

I bet you had too much of the sweet stuff over Christmas? Oh yes you did and don't deny it. Well, here is a perfect little recipe, especially ideal for this time of year when over indulgence is the word on everyone's lips. It's healthy, tasty, full of vital omegas and made with only natural sweeteners.

I read about it on Natacha's Piou Piou blog over the Christmas break and it sounded so good I had to try it straight away. De-lish-ous! It's one of those recipes where you can easily use whatever's to hand so there's no mad dash to the shops. For this second batch, destined for school snacks, I have varied the ingredients from the original. I didn't have much butter so used extra coconut oil, and since the Model's school have banned sesame seeds I used hemp seeds instead. Hemp gives a crunchy, nutty flavour but when unhulled it can get stuck in your teeth so you may prefer the sesames. I always cut down the sweetness dramatically in recipes but you must do as you and your conscience see fit ..

Use all butter if you wish but we always have coconut oil in the house and cook with it most days. Think about using different dried fruits such as apricots and perhaps a few prunes, although sparingly with the latter I think .. or suffer the consequences! Try adding coconut flakes (coconut is a wonder food due to its anti viral properties), different seeds even and guaranteed this will care for your bod far more than Messrs Mars and Hershey ever will. For weekends, I would chuck in a selection of chopped nuts but alas not for school lunch boxes as, like many schools I'm guessing, they are strictly verboten as well!

Beware though, when I first made these bars, the Boy asked whether it was intended for the birds!

Here is my adapted version of Natacha's muesli bar, which has also been converted into 'english speak'. And since the Model has taken a greedy shine to this recipe, I let her rename it. Start the day before you want to eat, because some of the seeds are soaked overnight .. not only are they easier to blend, they're also easier to digest that way!

raw nutrient bar

110g (1 cup) sunflower seeds
110g (1 cup) pumpkin seeds

110g (4 oz) coconut oil/butter mixed (proportion doesn't matter)
1 good dessertsp runny honey
110g (1 cup) chopped dates

55g (1/2 cup) pumpkin seeds
55g (1/2 cup) sunflower seeds
55g (1/2 cup) hemp seeds

Soak the first batch of sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl of water overnight.

Next day, rinse the soaked seeds thoroughly and leave to drain. Lightly toast the remaining dry seeds on the hob or in the oven. Put the coconut oil/butter into a medium pan, together with the honey and chopped dates and heat gently until the oil/butter has melted. Set aside to cool slightly.

Put the drained seeds into the food processor and whizz till fairly mushy. Next add the oil and date mixture and blitz again. Add the toasted seeds and pulse briefly to mix but avoid turning to pulp.

Turn the mixture out into a medium baking dish, flatten with the back of a spoon and place in the fridge for several hours to firm up.

Keep refrigerated.

Anyway, that's enough virtuousness. Just before the Christmas holidays I was introduced tothis German delight. Have you had it before? It's herbal and warming and wait, there's more .. it's medicinal, don't you know?!