Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Montage

Good coffee, compelling art, and vintage treasures all in one place? Yes, please do give me directions! When we were glamping, one of our hut neighbors turned out to be an actual neighbor. Small world, huh? Well, sort of anyway. She and her family live in the neighborhood next to ours called Forest Hill. She mentioned a new cafe called The Montage that happens to have a kids' play area in the back. I'm up for any cafe that has a play area for tots, which is, I've found, the key to having a somewhat peaceful cafe experience with children in tow. She also told me it's also part art galley and part vintage shop. So naturally I decided to check it out.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Perfect Scoop?

If I had an ice cream shop, I'd have to have a display like this one above! Only mine would read "ice cream" of course. Ice cream and fabric? Yes, please! A perfect scoop indeed. (It appears those are scarves to me, but I'd be happy just to ball up some fabric). And of course my ice cream dress would be the uniform. I wonder if I could have a few made in different colors? Because at the rate I'm churning it out, I'd need a number of different styles. And then we'd need ice cream cups... I think Lois would agree these would complement our cart.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Gone Glamping

For this past bank holiday weekend we went glamping in East Sussex. It was so much fun! (Okay, well, we are a family traveling with kids, so naturally it included a few tantrums, whining, spills, and general disagreements, but I imagine that's a given. But the weekend tilted on the fun side of the scale.) I had been looking around on the Cool Camping web site for a few weeks to try to find something that suited all our needs, mainly to be fairly close to London, near a train station, and with things to do in walking distance. It's not easy to find glamping sites that meet those requirements and are available on a holiday weekend with fairly short notice (I started looking about 3 weeks before the holiday weekend). But I happened to get a booking with The Original Hut Company because they had a cancelation. Lucky us!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Birthday Dress!

This week I made Ellie a birthday dress to celebrate her upcoming first birthday. Already one! I can't believe how fast this year has gone by. I've had the Oliver + S Family Reunion pattern for a while now and have been meaning to make one for Ellie and Lois. I finally got motivated with her birthday coming up and got to cutting and sewing. I was tempted to buy some nice, new fabric, but really I have plenty to work with, and especially for such a wee dress, you don't need much fabric. I used some navy stripe shirt fabric my mom gave me a while back and some Liberty fabric for the neck facing and buttons. I've been looking around for a while now at what sorts of fabrics I like for this dress (lots of ideas here on pinterest), and found I like simpler fabrics for the base with a bit of contrast. It was so much fun to make!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Kew Outing

Lately we've been wanting to have a few weekend adventures before Lois starts big girl school. Two weekends ago we went to Kew Gardens. It's been on our "to visit" for a while now, but every time we think of going it seems like quite a haul to get there without a car so we kept putting it off. But then we realized we could take a boat there, and though that made the journey longer, it just seemed more fun, so we decided to go that route. From Westminster Pier we took a ferry straight to Kew. It was a 90 minute journey, but it went by really quickly because the captain gave us a bit of a historical tour along the way. We also brought a few snacks to eat as well, which kept Lois happily occupied for a while.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Colour Makes People Happy

There are a handful of places in our neighborhood that I really love, a few little gems that sparkle in the otherwise dullness of a series of mini-marts and banks. One of those places is a paint shop. I've just been in a few times as I'm not often in need of paint, but this is really so much more than a paint shop, and by far THE best paint shop I've ever been to. It's just paint, right? It could be. Just like everything else, I guess. But Simon, who owns Colour Makes People Happy takes his paint shop over the rainbow. He wanted a shop that sold paint, and just paint, where people could engage more intimately with color.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Stitching Naturally

If you are a quilter or just admire quilts and the quilting tradition, you are sure to be inspired by Maura Grace Ambrose, creator of Folk Fibers. Her quilts are predominately hand dyed and hand stitched, and all beautiful. In issue 29 of Mollie Makes I had the honor of writing the intro to the denim quilt she made for that issue, which you can read there or here on the Mollie Makes blog. Check out issue 29 for more on how to make a denim quilt and head over to her web site to see more of her beautiful work. Her instagram feed is also a constant source of inspiration.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Gone Pickin'

Yesterday I packed up the girlies and headed out to a PYO farm (pick your own) to pick strawberries. I was sooooo happy my friend invited us to go and to drive. Her daughter goes to nursery with Lois and it sounded like a great playdate outing. We get out and about quite a bit for a no-car family, but it's a totally liberating feeling to hop in a car and go someplace quickly after not hoping in a car and going someplace quickly very often (we're working on the license thing). For our PYO day out we went to Hewitt's farm in Kent. The weather was perfect for berry picking--a bit overcast and very mild. They had plenty of produce available for picking, but we went for strawberries and moved on to have a picnic afterwards. The weather was also great for photos. I took the opportunity to use our new-ish little camera, a Sony DSC RX100.