Monthly Archives: July 2010

I Spy Christmas in July

We loved the “I Spy” series of books in our house when we were growing up.  One of my absolute favourites is the “I Spy Christmas” book.  This was a book that was pulled off the shelf, time and time again, to find the items listed in the rhyme, or to make up our own and search endlessly for them.

Walter Wick, created the series and here is a page from this beloved book:

On his website he states:

I Spy Christmas is the second book in the I Spy series and still one of my favorites. For this photograph, I found an old window that was just the right size to fit the page. Some of the dolls are my wife’s childhood toys. Others were borrowed from neighbors. I dressed the set like an old toy shop window. The snow and frost is of the type sold in Christmas shops.

His images are magical, a glimpse into childhood memories. He has created the perfect scenes, this shop window for example, is the Christmas window that you want to press your frosty nose and mittened hands to, staring at everything inside, with so many choices that you are not sure what you are going to put down on your list to ask Santa Claus for.

Here are the before and after images for the window scene that was described above:

At home there are always Christmas in July sales, parties, little get-to-gethers. I love Christmas, in fact I have been listening to Christmas music a lot lately on a fabulous online radio station I found and as crazy as it seems, listening to that music, made me sew up the rest of my bear and bunny order, even faster.  The more I seemed to sing and hum to those jolly jingles, the more time just seemed to fly by along with my fingers….

(All images are copyright Walter Wick)

Ice-Cream Sandwiches

Yesterday, it was particularly sunny and hot here in our little London Burb and homemade ice-cream sandwiches were definitely in order!

To begin with, you will need ice-cream (flavour of your choice), cookies (something softer is a bit better than a crunchy cookie, but it is up to you), sprinkles or nuts (if desired, to roll the edges in, we decided to be purist yesterday), a spatula or knife, waxed or parchment paper and the most important ingredient: someone to share them with.

Gather your ingredients around you and let your ice-cream be slightly softened, it will be easier to spread. I normally keep homemade cookie dough in the freezer, but I had run out, so cheated and bought cookies from my local bakery.

Lay your cookies down in front on you, bottoms up and spread ice-cream over one cookie, use as much or as little ice-cream as you want, alternatively you can use an ice cream scoop and place one scoop in the middle and then mash down with the top of your other cookie. Place the other cookie on top and press them together.

Fold them up in wax paper or parchment paper, creating a little parcel of happiness and place them in your freezer, they need to sit in here for at least 30 minutes for the ice-cream to harden. You can leave them in longer. These were made in the morning and not enjoyed until the evening after we had eaten dinner.

When you are ready to eat them, pull them out of the freezer, folding your wax/parchment paper back so that you have a little opening in which to munch away at your ice-cream sandwich, but the bottom is still covered to keep your hands clean.

Make sure you have a nice sunny day (or a cloudy one if you need something to cheer you up), a front porch to sit on or a nice walk to go on and most importantly someone you love to share it with, because that will make it taste that much sweeter!

ENJOY!

"Beanetta"

I was commissioned last week to make a little bear for a brand new baby. Although, too tiny for the Tooth Fairy, this little bear can stay tucked away in her nursery until she is ready for it.

Affectionately known as “Bean” while she was in the womb, she became known as “Beanetta” once the parents found out they were having a little girl.

She was born July 9th, but still does not have a name that suits her. Welcome to the world Beanetta, I hope you have a name soon!

(Polka Dot border from a Pugly Pixel Freebie)

School’s Out!

School is out for Summer! Wooo-Hooo!

I am so excited, that means the occasional morning sleeping in with Mr. Michie, eating lunch together, running errands together before I head to work, dinner at a more normal hour. I love when he is off from school and we can spend time with each other.

Next school year, I will be going to school too,  so we will have the same holidays off, to just sit and stare at each other over the tops of our computers, like a couple of nerds.

Mr. Michie is a very cute nerd though!

(Image found on polkadotandplaid’s Flickr account)

My Fox

I saw my fox. Those 4 little words say more than I can. I saw my fox again last night. It was late, after 1 am and we were getting ready to go bed and something told me to go to the window and raise the blinds, looking into the dark alleyway across the street, I saw a glisten of fur as sparkles of light from the street lamp behind the trees danced around the pavement as the wind blew the leaves.

It was him, I knew he was there. We are connected you see, he and I. I called my adorable red-head over to have a look and patiently we waited. Our patience paid off, a few mintues later he came out of the alley and started to walk up the street. He knew, we were there, peeking out at him from the window screen and he just looked at us. His eyes intense and all-knowing. He started to continue on his stroll, but stopped, ears perked and then gracefully turned around and went the other way.

A person was coming down the main street, he heard it before we saw it. It was magical. Again, there are no pictures. But, that is how it is meant to be between us I suppose. It is just our time together when the rest of the world is tucked away in their beds.

(Image found on Flickr. I know that it is a Christmas Image, but 1) I love Christmas 2) At home there is always Christmas in July Sales & 3) I like to think that, in fact I know, that my fox would look very dapper with a bandanna around his neck)

"Hello? Samantha?"

Samantha Nose Wiggle

Dee-dee-dee-dee-d, Dee-dee-dee-dee-d. Well, I am wiggling my nose,  but I guess I don’t have Samantha’s magic.

“Hello? Samantha? Are you there? Could you send a little magic my way, I am ready to wiggle my nose and have this order completed!”

I’m getting there, slowly and surely, in-between work, keeping up things around the house, so we are not swallowed up by “Mount Laundry”, and taking care of a sick husband, I am busy sewing away.

There is a basket of bears and bunnies at my feet, only a few more colors left to cut, embroider and piece together and then they will be on their way!

A Birthday Trip Out

Well, I am ashamed to say that my Birthday Post has taken me so long to write. I did give you a hint of what was to come and that I did get the lovely turqouise shoes I wanted! But, I have yet to write any more and there is so much to say.

I have lived in London for a number years and I know some of its secrets, but not all. I love when I have gone somewhere that I have been a thousand times, but yet I discover a secret I did not know it held. Our secret discovery came in the form of a secret garden.

We went to the Natural History Museum in search of Phoolan, alas she was no longer there. In our hunt for her we wandered onto a side of the Museum that I have never wandered to. It is there that a wildlife garden exists behind an iron gate. Next to the entrance of the gate stood a majestic bronze fountain.

Inside those gates held a wild meadow, a little stream, an impressive bee hive in the hollow of a tree. It was a little oasis in the middle of London. You completely forget where you were, watching the little ducklings following there Mama, with reeds and lilies surrounding you.

From there we walked across the street to I think my most favorite Museum, The V&A. The Grace Kelly Exhibition was sold out for the day, so that will be a Birthday treat yet to come, but we did manage to get into the Quilt Exhibition.

The Quilt Exhibition was amazing. The quality and workmanship in the quilts was awe-inspiring. It was very interesting, to me, to walk through the gallery and see these pieces objectified and paid homage too. It is a fine line we walk with Art. I have two quilts in my possession, both from the 1800’s American Mid-West and I use them, they are lovingly looked after, but they are used. I stared at some of the quilts on “bed-frames” or hung on the wall, being revered, dated to around the same period of my own, never to be used again, which is against the reason they were created for in the first place. A little dichotomy that I find intriguing.

There is such a hidden story to tell with quilts: How many hands touched it? Who made it and who was it made for? How long did it take to create, to save the fabric scraps? This was a wonderfully put together show as far as the pices went, there were a few I would have loved to have seen in more detail, but the bed frames they lay upon made it impossible. There are a few quilts I would have gladly liked to have called my own as well, like this one:

The scalloped edges and the detail in her work was so intricately beauitul.  It was enough for me to have just seen seen the exhibition but a few surprises were put into my hands, and one of them was this:

Created by the artist who designed the quilt featured on the exhibition poster. We were able to see the real quilt piece this was made from and I think it is such a cool way to tie everything in. I love when you see thought has gone into something in the exhibition store. That a fabric “poster” was available to tie-in with the fabric in the show.

I was disappointed to not get to see Grace Kelly as well, but in retrospect, I think we were being very ambitious, we were in the Quilt Exhibition for over 3 hours and after that, we needed a visual break, I would have hated to go through Grace Kelly and not have enjoyed it because I wasn’t taking in and absorbing everything that I possibly could have.

After the V&A we wandered down to do a little shopping and thus a new pair of Birthday shoes jumped into my hands. For dinner we went to one of my favorite places. It is my own Luke’s Diner (if you watch the Gilmore Girls, you will know what I am talking about). It is not as bright and cozy as Luke’s, but is is a happening little dive.

After dinner, we strolled to Liberty’s and Snog had set up a mini store inside. I walked out with a delicious frozen yoghurt covered in chocolate and fresh summer berries. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

(Quilt Exhibition Fabric Banner created by: Natasha Kerr, Quilt images copyright the V&A)

The Last Slice

I have been working hard these last few days. I don’t seem to have gotten very far however, this week has been unbelievably busy.  I have been out of the house more than I have been in and trying to do all my sewing in the in-between.

But, tonight I am inside, the dishes are done, the iron is hot and I am just about to make some Jenny Wren tags to sew into little bunny and bear legs. Before I do that, I am going to eat the last slice of this:

The marble cake we made for the Fourth of July has managed to stick around a few days longer than I thought since we have been out so much.  So, the last slice, is mine! After all, a girl needs to keep up her strength when sewing so many little creatures together…

Above Water

Is this week over already? I am ready for it to be and it is only Tuesday! I got my biggest order yet from RosaBlue and I have been busily cutting away felt, embroidering pockets and faces on bears and bunnies, ironing wrens on fabric labels…

I am just trying to take it slow, to do them in color batches, so I don’t get overwhelmed. Between trying to keep the household chores up, take care of this order, go to work and prepare for my new job (in which I am doing the “handover” this week), I am endeavouring to keep my head above water.

But, when I feel overwhelmed and nothing seems to be getting accomplished, I take some “Jack Byrnes Wisdom” and I step back, take a deep breath, take a break and go back to it in a little while. It will all get accomplished, not everything all at once, maybe not as quickly as I intended or how I planned and organized it, but in the end it will all get done.

So, right now, I am just focusing on keeping my head above water, I’ve always liked a good challenge, so I am more than ready to take this on….

(Image: Esther Williams found on Flickr)