french flowers and stripes

I can't tell you how desperate I am to finish the knitting project I started months ago. Seriously, it was started last April, I can barely bring myself to say that, I feel so ashamed. Trouble is, every time I get the yarn out, the frisky kitties get over excited and to stop them from swooping in, I end up standing up, tension tightening with each stitch, until I can finish the row. Then it's hastily packed away in the bag until I can persuade them to go outside. It doesn't make for relaxation.

I had a doctor's appointment the other day and, given the historically lengthy endurance test in the waiting room, I took the knitting along. Yep, the doc was running on time for a change so I only managed a row before I was called in. Typical, isn't it?

Something I have managed to produce though is a couple of new purses. They are made with vintage French fabrics, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous swoon-worthy little pieces of history, there really is nothing like an old French design and colour to get the excitement going.

The children will be breaking up for yet another marathon holiday tomorrow so I'm frantically tying up a few loose ends before I shut up shop. I don't know how people do it actually. I mean, run a business and a family at the same time. I think I shall ponder on that one over the next few weeks, though something tells me there's no solution! Any ideas?

Hallelujah, another wonderful day outside. Temperatures are set to reach 24C again here in London .. that's warmer (and drier) than last Summer!

Happy days, everyone.


sunday cake

The children made the most delicious cake yesterday, my role was merely one of direction. It was a quick and easy make, however I had to be ultra rapido with the camera once it was turned out so my hopes of getting some beautiful photos just weren't an option. No way were those pesky kids going to hang around whilst I faffed about with appropriate props and lighting, and so on. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

As is usual with our baking sessions, this cake is gluten/grain free and the 'Sunday Cake' has no dairy in it either. Almonds are, without doubt, one of the wonder foods on this planet. They are high in protein, fibre and antioxidants, richer in nutrients than wheat flour and one of the least likely nuts to form an allergy to. The only downside I can see is that they can't be taken to school!

Sunday Cake

3 cups ground almonds
3 large eggs
1/4 - 1/2 cup runny honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
4-5 plums, stoned and cut into 8 slices per plum

Line a 9 inch cake tin with parchment paper and arrange the plum slices over the top. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and then add to the dry, stirring to incorporate. Carefully spoon the mixture over the plums and smooth the top.

Cook at 190C for about 30 mins, or until a cocktail stick comes out dry when tested. Leave in the tin for about 1/2 hour before turning upside down onto a serving plate.

Serve warm with creme fraiche and enjoy!

Being a lazy-day Sunday, I didn't convert the measurements into 'English speak' this time, however 3 cups of grounds almonds is roughly 300g, give or take.

Much as the kiddos loved the baking, they didn't exactly rush to do the washing up. But the sound of them playing (mostly) nicely outside on the trampoline in the sunshine was music to my ears as I tidied up after them!

Have a lovely week, it's a beautiful day here in London.


golden roses

My car told me it is 18C outside today, the sun in shining so brightly I shall have to dig out my sunglasses and it looks so green and lush out and about. I love this time of year, it really lifts the spirits.

I've been selling a lot of purses recently so I thought I should replenish the shop somewhat. So I made a couple of different sized ones out of this wonderful barkcloth, which has the most beautiful golden roses, white daisies and cartouches on it. It's been used previously for a little skirt but this time I partnered the cloth with some Liberty tana lawn from the stash and, along with their coordinating zips, they look just like Spring to me.

I received another long piece of beautiful vintage French fabric yesterday which was promptly washed to freshen it up. Now I'm going to go upstairs to my haven, where I shall give it a good iron and set to work with the scissors. Will show you next week.

By the way, today is the last day of the 15% discount offer in the shop. You can quote 13579 on the coupon code to qualify, if you're interested.

Wishing you a happy weekend. I'm going to check out the weather forecast now, fingers crossed!


iona tunic dress

I won a giveaway recently, from Vera's beautiful small things simple pleasures blog and you'll never guess what but it took a mere four days to arrive from Australia. Isn't that incredible? I reckon you could easily wait that long for a parcel from the Outer Hebrides and that's really only just up the road and across a little bit of water. I'm thinking her previously loved tote will look perfectly at home with my tunic and new sandals. Did you notice them? Honestly these navy babies have just made it out of the box and already they fit like a glove and feel like a comfy old pair of slippers and I mean that in the best possible sense, I do!

Thank you Vera, your Ozzie beasts are most welcome in my wardrobe and you can rest assured they'll be out again soon enough, because Spring is well and truly on its way now. They may well not even notice the change in climate as we steam ahead into a drought, the like of which hasn't been seen in the UK for 124 years apparently and hose pipes will be banned within the next couple of weeks.

As for the tunic, that's the latest addition to the shop. A simple piece, it has a high boat-ish neckline, in-seam pockets and grown on sleeves. In other words, the sleeves are part of the body of the dress as opposed to separate entities that are the more usual. It makes for a more economical use of fabric and results in a casual piece of clothing which, for the upcoming (hopefully) warm summer days can only be described as a good thing in my opinion. I might even consider extending the wearing by layering it up with a thin tee underneath or a chunkier cardi over the top, should the mood strike!

I bought several metres of a selection of linens not so very long ago and this is the result of one of them. It's Irish linen again .. and my goodness it drapes like a dream, is a treat to sew and I can't get enough of the stuff! By the way, it is my intention to add a size 14 to the drop down bar, only it takes a husband to sort out that kind of issue ... all in good time, says he. You can always drop me a line!

Happy Wednesday. I'm working on a lampshade today, what are you up to?


moments to treasure

It was breakfast in bed for me this morning. Made, decorated and delivered, complete with menu and cards, by the children. Bliss.

Happy Mothers' Day to my own lovely mother. And to all other mothers out there .. whether you're in the UK or not!


french fancies

I was so excited to find a large piece of vintage French cotton last weekend. Pristine condition, never used, still starchy in its newness and not a stain to be worked around. Naturally I snatched it up greedily and then, once it was washed and ironed, I set to work.

I just had a small amount of time to spare, not enough to get stuck into something all-consuming, so I made up a couple of purses to put into my little shop! They are lined with some denim-linen which was originally used for this dress and then, a little bit later on, this one, too. It's very satisfying to reuse fabrics from previous projects and it makes me feel a bit nostalgic for the times when those dresses were hot off the press, too.

I've been tagged a couple of times recently. Firstly by Natalia and then by Dawn at at home with red. Apologies, ladies, for being so slow in getting my act in gear and acknowledging your kindness publicly. I must tell you that my tardiness doesn't mean I'm not grateful because I most certainly am. And I really loved learning the requisite eleven things about you both but must confess I don't think I'll get round to answering and making up my own. Not unless I ignore all the things that need doing around the house before I can escape to the top of the house, where my sewing machine and other Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm, life-enhancers live. Sorry.

My favourite person on this rather dull and grey day (with apologies to the husband) is Jane of the Handmade Jane blog. She was the first customer in my new shop and has very sweetly blogged about the chandelier earrings she bought from me last week. She is a fantastic seamstress, loves sewing from vintage patterns and with a passion for red, these earrings should be the perfect accompaniment. Thank you so much Jane x

So, wishing you a wonderful, bright and, with luck please oh please, warm Spring/Autumn weekend. Wouldn't that be heavenly?



Thank you all for your encouraging comments on my last post, they are much appreciated, both by myself and my in-house website designer!! The 15% discount offer remains until Friday 23rd March, quoting coupon code 13579.

I took the Model up to Central London for a party on Sunday but after dropping her off I got caught up in a one way system and let the sisterhood down badly, I'm afraid, by driving down a one way street the wrong way. If it had been a quiet little side street I'd have got away with it mildly I think but, as it was, didn't realise until it was too late and I found myself right in the middle of a very packed Borough Market. And boy, do I mean packed! People were ambling here, there and everywhere and they only dispersed when I was practically nudging them with the car bumper. By the time I worked out what I'd done, there were just as many people behind as in front so turning round wasn't an option. But you know, I decided I wasn't going to be flustered, so I took no notice of the bemused faces, made no eye contact whatsoever and just carried along my way. Even when a waitress kindly moved her tables and chairs in a little bit. There was just a hint of a problem when I met three particularly large oncoming cars towards the end and the embarrassment levels started to increase, but we won't dwell on that!!

Surprisingly a car space fairly quickly materialised in front of me so I decided to go back and investigate the market some more. Goodness, what a place, it was absolutely filled to capacity with a huge variety of farmers' stalls selling all manner of foods, with lots to taste and smell, although it was too busy for me so I had a peripheral look from the sidelines before moving on. I made a mental note to go back and have a better look, but Thursday is the day for that apparently .. no tourists!! The few photos I took are a bit rubbishy unfortunately, getting close to any stalls proved quite an undertaking.

This contraption stopped me in my tracks though, I had never seen anything like it before. No surprise to see it's recommended for pub crawls and hen/stag parties.

Aside from the market, there is plenty of history to see. London's oldest cathedral church,Southwark Cathedral, is just around the corner, as is Winchester Palace, and I love seeing old buildings nestled neatly amongst the new.

There's a lot of building going on around the area and this place was quite something. Known as The Shard, it promises to be the Capital's most dynamic single building and the tallest in Western Europe. I almost cricked my neck looking up to take this shot but you can check out the birds' eye view here on this link.

And of course, you're never far away from The Thames.

But time was short so it was only a brief visit, but I found somebody else who had the same idea as me ..

Will be back next time with some more crafting. See you soon!



is open for business. Eeek, that sounds so strange and I am presently feeling just like a little girl, playing shops in Mummy's high heels. So there you have it, the weeks of waiting are over and the grand and beautifully polished cyber doors have been pulled back, the carpet all nicely swept, shelves dusted, finger nails duly inspected ...

I think my husband has done a cracking job on the website and there are some pretty fun features on there too. My favourites have got to be the 'compare' setting, where you can get a few items up onto the same page to take a more detailed look and I am completely besotted with my favicon. So very cool!

Thank you again for all your support, I'm so grateful and to celebrate my coming of age, there is an offer of 15% discount for all you wonderful followers until Friday 23rd March. Quote 13579 on the coupon code to buy. Even if you don't want to buy I would love it if you checked the website out, had a bit of a play about and then gave me some feedback. Keep coming back, too, because there will be a steady stream of new things to see.

Happy days. x


rose pink and buttercup

Old rose pink lampwork beads in two strands.
Vintage, glass pearl studded flower for a clasp.
A new bracelet for a new season.
Roll on Springtime. I'm ready for you now.


100% linen

Have you ever had acupuncture? I had a session last week for my tendonitis. The Physiotherapist asked if I fancied trying it given it's success in relaxing deep tissue and, up for most things, I went for it. A long, thin needle was placed between each thumb and first finger (pain relief !) and then another three into my right arm. I'm sure I resembled a pin cushion only I couldn't look. Ooh, it was a strange sensation. A sudden surge of energy rushed around my hands and up my arm and it wasn't long before I was lying down, window wide open, feeling utterly pathetic. But any queasiness is stirred up in the mind you know and I very soon got used to it. Only then she came back and twiddled the needles some more, which sent the process off all over again. But as she predicted, within a couple of hours it felt much better, doubly great since at the time I felt as though my arm may drop off!

Half Term was a bit of a pain, too. Rather a damp squib actually and you may take that literally. When we got to the cottage in Dorset, an interesting stain was waiting for us on the ceiling directly below the shower so the plumber was called and he promptly hacked into the tiling to reveal our very own fountain. Needless to say the people who owned the house before us hadn't saved any tiles and because the originals have since been discontinued, we've ended up having the whole area redone. So the poor children had a bit of a non-eventful time of it, and seem to have developed a dislike to plumbers and tilers.

Needless to say, I wasn't sorry to get back home to normality .. and a different set of needles. I had cut out my latest linen offering before the holiday so it was rather a joy to get back and straight into the fun part. This will be going into the shop which is ... da da daaaaa, officially opening later this week!

Some more Irish linen, soft and super drapey and I just love this shade of marled blue. And the style is relaxed, I'd say. Easy. Throw-on. Wardrobe-staple. All of those adjectives. We're heavily into describing words in our household at the moment, that's Year 4 English lessons for you!

And have you picked up on my new labels. How grown up am I?

Have a lovely week.