Published July 30, 2010
Crafts , Sewing
Tags: bow, Crafts, easy, hair clip, hair comb, madeline, ribbon, Sewing, summer
After a few weeks of dreadful weather, we have managed to recapture Summer. As I looked at the partner hair comb to my Chloe one, I decided to push to embody my joy of all things Summer (heat, swimming, skirts, flip flops, ice cream….) and create an alternative hair comb. A ‘nice’ comb to go with the ‘naughty’ one, sort of, or a ‘day’ to go with the ‘night.’
While rooting around in my present and wrapping drawer for a thank you card (remaining thanks to be passed out following my birthday), I came accross a lovely little scrap of yellow and white ribbon. I remember getting some clothes I bought in San Francisco tied up in this lovely ribbon one previous Summer. A bow seemed like the perfect idea. To make:
- Cut 3 pieces of your chosen ribbon. 1 a little longer than the length of your hair comb (Piece A), 1 twice the length of the previous (Piece B), and 1 just long enough to act as the ‘tie’ in the centre (Piece C)
- With Piece A below, take Piece B and form a circle. flatten it with the joint in the centre and pin all the pieces together. Sew in place
- Take Piece C and wrap it around the centre of your bow. Sew in place being careful to sew to the main bow but not through to the front
- Trim Piece A to your liking and singe the ends slightly by holding near a flame. Sew your bow to your hair come and away you go!
I love it so much! I’ve been wearing it to the top of my head with floaty summer skirts, feeling like Madeline frolicking around the streets of Paris with the nuns from her boarding school. Long may it last.
A month has been and gone and after some very patient waiting our homemade, flavoured vodka is ready! Looking at cherry and lemon spirits though they still had sediment left in them, especially the lemon vodka. So I searched out some muslin, and went about straining each vodka through a double layer suspended in a sieve, not really expecting much. When we made them, we did try and strain them through coffee filters, but I think they filter much too finely. The vodka could barely pass through them and simply welled up instead, so on I went with my muslin experiment and wow! What a result. They came out crystal clear. Especially the lemon vodka. It came out looking identical to our inspiration; Lemon vodka from Demijohn, in Edinburgh. Awesome.
So I broke out my reclaimed drinks tray and got the party started. If you’re looking for a tip, the lemon is lovely straight as an after dinner cleanser and the cherry is delicious diluted with chilled, bitter lemon. Yum. Happy Summer!
Published July 26, 2010
Tags: gardening, growing, summer, tomatoes
It’s been awhile since I’ve given you an update on my toms. And there is great news. We (Mr. A is now fully onboard with this project), are the proud producers of 16 growing tomatoes! Can you believe it? Some are nice and big and ping pong ball sized, and others are teeny tiny, the size of ball bearings, and all are still very, very green. So it will be awhile before these babies are in a bowl on the dining table.
But otherwise, I can’t believe how much satisfaction growing them has brought. Mr. A and I will stand and dote on them and inspect them though-out the day. Checking that they’re happy and spying for new toms, and just generally enjoying them. They have given me a real yearning for a patch of green outside to call my own. One day. In the mean time, I think its time for a coffee break and a daily inspection 🙂
Published July 22, 2010
Crafts , Jewelry
Tags: amanda seyfried, Beading, Beads, chloe, elegant, grip, hair comb, pin, plaited, vintage
This project is inspired by the amazing sexiness of Amanda Seyfried and the film Chloe. It’s just now out on DVD and I really recommend a watch if you’ve got the time. I can’t properly explain how sexy she is (boys want her, girls want to be her etc.) but this little project is a little step by me to try and capture some of what she’s got.
Through the movie her main weapon of seduction is a stunning vintage hair comb (as above). I remember when I was little we always had hair combs about the house, my mum used them. I perceived them as very grown up. But where have they gone now? I never see people wearing them. So girls, lets rediscover the timelessness of them. For a lack of finding any metal combs I had to settle for black plastic ones from Boots (work fine, but I’ve extremely thick hair and so gentleness is required). And inspired by my plaited retro necklace and the fact that I’m dreaming of winter parties, I opted to recreate a shimmery gold plaited detail to fix onto my comb.
- Cut 6 pieces of beading thread three times the length of your comb
- Knot pairs of thread together (so your left with 3 double strands).
- Thread each piece with enough seed beads to cover a little over the length of your comb (the strands will loose length as they are plaited)
- Knot the ends of each pair once threaded. Knot the Three pieces together and fix to one end of your comb (I used UHU, as it has a little give. It doesn’t have to be a permanent fix) and leave to dry
- Plait the three stands as tightly as you can and knot the thread ends together and fix to the other end of the comb as before.
- Using illusion cord (or a thread of similar color to your beads) thread through your plait and around your comb from end to end to secure. (coat ends of cord in clear nail polish to secure)
Although I don’t quite feel as sexy as Chloe I do feel like a bit of a 1920’s moll wearing it. I love it.
How time flies. I’m 25. I remember when I was little thinking that by the age of 23 (which was ancient or so I thought) I would have achieved everything in life (career, marriage, money, lovely possessions, travel and the like). But here I am, two years after my deadline and feeling like I’ve only hit on the tip of the iceberg. I’ve had fun doing it, but when you reflect, you think ‘why can’t I do things like that all the time?’ A new adventure everyday.
But as a friend pointed out. Just look at all the things I’ve achieved in the past 25 years (walking, talking, thinking and the like), so surely only more monumental things are to come. I hope so! So raise a glass to moving on, and searching out new adventures in life, because you don’t get many quarter centuries of your own.
To end this post, I thought I’d show you birthday peonies (so lovely) and my birthday present from Mr. A (even lovelier). He found it all on his own without prompting. Either the guy is pretty lucky or he has started listening when I drone on about all the awesomeness in the crafty world. The artist’s name is Amanda Coleman and she creates the most charming and quirky jewelry. So I’m off to eat and wear cake. Happy quarter century to all those 1985 babies.
Every year, right before my birthday I face the same dilemma. What to do about my birthday cake? Technically the birthday girl should not make her own. But Mr. A doesn”t have a Nigella/Delia side to him. Meat, course he can tackle meat. He’s a man. But delicately light and fluffy sponge and some delicious icing, no way. That’s far too feminine. But (after years of training) he is of course willing to surrender to any whim of mine at this time of year. So he will handle the cake. He will even get a cake which he finds repulsive but thinks I would like (last year I got lemon. yum). So thats great. The only problem is that bought cakes in the UK are crap. Really heavy and dense, and unimaginative. So it ends up that no one eats them and they go to waste.
So I have decided that in fact making my own birthday cake is the only way forward. I can do it better, and cheaper and without the majority of it landing in the bin. So that is how I came to make Sophie Dahl’s Orange and Raspberry Victoria Sponge. I’ve been stuck to the TV watching her Delicious Ms. Dahl and loving every minute of it. She is just so English, and its lovely. Her food is my dessert island menu, and her family gain her extra likability points also (like every child, I was a HUGE Roald Dahl fan).
So, for my birthday I chose to test her twist on the classic sponge cake. Here the sponge is favoured with orange zest, the icing is orange based and you make your own homemade zingy raspberry jam for the centre. Delicious indeed and oh so simple! Bring on my birthday, I’m ready.