Saturday, 25 July 2015

The Perfect Beach Tote

We're at the beach having a great time in Florida with my family. I was a little worried about the weather before we got here. It was looking pretty bleak. A dark and stormy beach forecast did not make for ideal visions of beach bliss. But it turned around quickly and we've had great weather every day! Before we left I was on the lookout for a new beach bag. My boat tote has seen better days and I've been wanting something a bit more hardy that can stand up to the wear and tear of general life dragging (mostly spilled, dripped, crunched kid) stuff around in a bag. And that made me think of Susan Hoff's tote bags made from recycled sails.
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Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Beautiful Things

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. More of a slump than a funk, but something that went from relieved to be finished with my book to sad that it is officially finished. It's not often that I have such a big project in my lap at once. It seemed to go from full speed to stop in one day. I'm still very happy it's finished and am looking forward to another big project. In the meantime, I've been up to the usual stuff... sewing, housework (seriously, how is there always so much laundry to do? We need less stuff!), reading.... And I'm looking forward to going to the US next week to visit family and go to the beach, yay! I'm also daydreaming of having our own house one day and what it would look like (just a tad pricey to buy a house in our current neighborhood, so we're not sure when that will happen or where it will be). I've been eyeing my pinterest for inspiration, which I haven't looked at much in months. Some of my favorite images are of colorful interiors.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Back to Sewing

For the last few months my sewing machine has been collecting dust. That's not to say my head wasn't completely immersed in sewing. I was actually more involved with sewing more than ever while working on London Stitch and Knit. I have never been to so many great fabric and haberdashery shops in such a short amount of time or written about so many all at once. My head has definitely been deep in fabric, thread, needles, patterns... just not on the actual machine again until last week. I just have not had any extra time. I completed photos in more than 45 shops and wrote features on all the shops, including chapter introductions and a resources section for my book in 3 months, mostly working on it after our girls whet to bed and on the weekends (when I wasn't visiting the shops taking photos). If Ellie had been in school full-time that would have been a bit easier, but I had her two full days a week and she can't watch Peppa Pig all day after all. But now the book is just about finished and I've had time to do some actual sewing. One project that's been on my list for about a year is the Sew Over It Betty dress. I have some vintage curtain fabric that used to be in Lois's room that reminded me of fabric I saw on Mad Men, so I thought it would make a good Betty. It was really easy to make. I didn't get the zip to the top well the first time, though, so I re-did it. Other than that, the fit was good and I didn't need to do too many adjustments. Here's to getting back to sewing!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

ACE Camp Days

I had a great time with my friend and chef Alison Bell hosting an ACE Camp London culinary tour. The group was great and we ate and ate and ate! We went to soooo many good places: St John, NOPI, Borough Market, Maltby Street Market, Marylebone farmer's market, Neal's Yard Dairy, lots of exploring in Shoreditch, Soho--where we had a great tour by Jenny Linford--and Everyone had plenty of time to explore and venture out during free time. Lots of campers went to the V&A, Selfridges, and plenty of other shops and restaurants that weren't on the itinerary specifically. One highlight was going to Alastair Hendy's home, where he has an amazing kitchen (the whole place is amazing, but the kitchen in particular is dramatic because you can look down into it from the upper floor where his living room is). Above is my delicious lunch at his house. He gave a talk about his food styling and photography work and then he cooked us an amazing lunch, which he let us all style. So much fun! Now I want to take an ACE Camp. I'm looking forward to seeing what camps Angela Ritchie has planned for the rest of the year and 2016. Here's a look at our London culinary tour.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Snapshots from Cornwall

I've been so busy lately that our holiday in Cornwall with friends almost seems like a distant memory. The days just seem to rush by and it's hard for me too keep up with everything that I need and want to do. I imagine many people feel the same way, juggling the responsibilities of housework, kids, work and play. (I feel like I say that all the time!) It was great to have a break from our regular routine, though, and I wouldn't mind being back there now. The weather this week there is amazing. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great most of the time we were there, but we all had a wonderful time anyway. Our girls played with their friends from morning till night and had so much fun together. We went on some lovely short hikes, went to the beach, went to the Eden Project, Rick Stein's fish and chips, we cooked, played in the garden at the house, had an Easter egg hunt, and had a relaxing time just lounging around. The house we stayed in was amazing. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a place to stay near Bude. Here's a look at our holiday in Cornwall though instagram.