Monday, 28 June 2010

Slippers!

Before Caroline came to visit, I wanted to make her something cute--a little welcome gift. I had this pattern for slippers in my craft idea folder and decided to give them a whirl. One pair for her; one pair for me. Mine first, for practice. These were not easy or quick! Sometimes when I sew I feel like my brain's going to turn inside out. I made soooo many mistakes, but I ended up finishing hers (finished mine too, but had to re-do one, and I still have to finish that one). Unfortunately both pairs are a tad too small. Poop. When it comes to something like pillows, if you're a wee bit off, it's no biggie, but with slippers, a wee bit makes a big difference. Still they're really cute. The pattern is from a 2007 issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion. I don't know the exact issue though because I ripped out the pages a while back and the month is not marked on them! If anyone has their heart set on getting the pattern let me know, and I'll see if I can email it to you. Here are the slippers in the making. They are lined with a felted wool bottom, sewn on with a blanket stitch. Mine are the red dotted ones. I meant to take a picture of Caroline's before she left, but you get the idea with my one slipper. If I make these again, I will definitely sew in some wadding because they are a bit flimsy with out it. And I might even see if I can get something like leather for the bottom so they are longer-lasting.
Tiny hands trying to take my slippers!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Paris Girl's Weekend, Part 2

Whew, we had a great time in Paris, but we're glad to be back home in London now. We wore ourselves out. Mostly we're tired from all the walking, but all that eye candy that is everything Paris just wears a girl out! Saturday and Sunday included going to Pierre Herme for sweet treats, checking out some modern art at the Pompidou, sitting in cafes, sipping wine, walking up St. Germain, all around the nooks and crannys of the 5th arrondissement, walking through the Marais, all along the Seine, walking around Ile Saint-Louis (the little island between the right and left banks of Paris), admiring Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe. Like I said, whew! We need a vacation from our vacation, but we don't have time for that. We're back on the London sightseeing trail until Saturday, when Caroline flies home. Go check out her blog to see pictures of Pairs from her perspective (some of our pictures are pretty much the same!).

Outside the Pompidou, Scandinavian design exhibit, and the view outside the Pompidou, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
Wine and cafe umbrellas. 


Great pastry shop, Stohrer.

Luxembourg Palace (forgot to mention we went to Luxembourg Gardens too).

The stairway in our apartment building. 
Cute heart-shaped sugar cubes in our apartment. 

Ile Saint-Louis walk.
Notre Dame. 
Louvre and Eiffel Tower view. 
Arc de Triomphe. 
Cafe break. 
I'll always have an Eiffel Tower view beside my bed. Goodbye, Paris! Hope to see you again sooner than later. 
I used my iPhone for all of these pictures, with the camerabag app. Same with my previous post. Love camerabag!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Paris Girl's Weekend

This weekend I'm in Paris with Caroline for her birthday! Paris was her city pick for a weekend getaway while she's in London, so here we are!  Yesterday we went to Rose Bakery (a place she's been wanting to visit since she got their cookbook). It was delicious! I had a leek and mushroom tart with a few salads (pictured below).

Then we strolled around the Marias, an area of charming narrow streets, great shops, and cafes. We worked up an appetite so we stopped for a sweet treat at a cafe along the Place des Vosges. I had a tarte tatin with creme fraiche and a coffee. (Marias walk pictures below.)



Later, for dinner, we went to Le Fumior. They have a library room in the back, which was perfect for Caroline because she's getting her master's in library science. The room was so cozy and dinner was great! More from Paris coming soon.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Tour Guide Duty

My friend Caroline is in town, and we've been so busy the last few days that I've neglected to blog about it! We've been out and about quite a bit the last few days, and today was spent on the east side of town in Shoreditch. We had a great time strolling around the Columbia Road Flower Market, Brick Lane, and Spitalfields Market. Our favorite places were the shops Labour and Wait and Caravan. We also loved Vintage Heaven, where we had wonderful cream tea. A few pictures from our fun day out!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Seaside

Last weekend we went to check out the English seaside in Brighton. I think every Londoner had the same idea! It was soooo packed (though you can't really tell from these pictures). It was a little too packed to be comfortable for us, but it made for a few pretty pictures. I'd like to go back and check it out again, but maybe during a different time of year or on a not so beautiful day. (That might sound strange, but of course it was the great weather that drove everyone to the beach last weekend.) A carousel, great beach chairs, interesting pebble beach (no sand!), fish and chips--all nice beach treats.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Before and After: Entry Inspiration

Our little entry has been cluttered and dark since we moved in. It's a narrow, short hallway. The landlord left a bookshelf there, but I didn't like the natural wood color so I asked him if I could paint it white. He didn't have a problem with that, so I painted it a creamy white. Above the bookshelf is an ugly, half-moon sort of lighting fixture (see below). It's quite the fixture as it's apparently part of the wall. I couldn't figure out what to do with that lighting fixture, so I thought I just try to disguise it. I thought about putting a plant in it, but a real plant in there would be a pain, and I don't like synthetic plants, so I scrapped that idea.
I've had this picture (top picture) of a shelf with branches in a vase for a while now in my inspiration folder. I love everything about it. I love the painting--how it's off center, the vases (including the paper cone-vase), and especially the the branches in the vase and the notes and pictures in the branches. I used it for my entry inspiration. Our entry looks much better than before, I think, though it still needs some tweaking. For now though I'm happy with it being the first thing you see when you walk in. It includes some of my favorite things--a pretty lamp I bought for $10 in San Francisco at the Alemany flea market, a seashell box my neighbor left when he moved out, some books I love, a bulbous wood vase Andrew gave to me, and some pictures and notes that mean a lot to me. I like the idea of changing out what goes into the branchy-tree. During the holidays, some ornaments and Christmas cards will look very festive there. Welcome home!