Monday, 30 June 2014

An avocet at sea. Framed.

It was my mum's birthday a couple of weeks ago, and as usual I wanted to make her something special.  She hadn't yet been the recipient of any of my birdy work (last year it was a bag, and for Christmas a notebook), so out came an avocet in applique and machine embroidery, one of her favourite birds.  I decided to do something a little different to my previous efforts and added the name.  It's actually quite tricky freehand embroidering words, especially when your handwriting is as illegible as mine.  More practice certainly required.
I've mentioned before my love of all thing map, and in my previous life as a navigator of warships I accumulated a number of outdated charts.  Rather conveniently I managed to find one covering the area where my mother grew up.
The boy helped me with the wrapping - a little toddler artwork.  More on this in a future post.

And inside - an avocet flag framed with a chart background.  
What do you think?  Perhaps I'll do a few more birdies like this.

Kate x

Friday, 27 June 2014

New York, New York!

I love New York - who that has been there can fail to be charmed by that crazy city?  Charming indeed, it was the perfect place for a proposal for some rather debonair and stylish friends of ours recently.  Happy news indeed!  So I cracked out the machine (god, I am so rock and roll - my life these days is way more stitchy than champagne) to run up a little congratulations card.
 Slightly wobbly lines - perhaps more New York after a few Manhattans, or a respectable amount of champagne?
Kate x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The bright side

I'm not sure whether it is the effects of the summer sun, but of late I have found myself increasingly craving a little colour in my life.  The pink and yellow roses outside my kitchen window have been blooming, and those bright and beautiful blooms have been imparting such an amazing scent - I wish I could share that on this blog!
A little inspired by those bright colours, PLH and I recently got around to spending some John Lewis vouchers we were given as a wedding present.  We've just celebrated our 4th anniversary so it's taken us a while! After much musing we finally settled upon some new everyday cutlery and tumblers to brighten up our mealtimes.

Kate x

Monday, 23 June 2014

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Saturday, 21 June 2014


One of my favourite summer treats as a child was heading out to a local "pick your own" farm to gather summer fruits.  The delight of eating juicy strawberries or raspberries hand-picked myself (many before the weigh-in!) is something I have been keen to share with the boy. So on Monday we popped up to a farm near Petersfield to make the most of the strawberry season.
Set just north of the South Downs, it is a beautiful and bountiful place, full of fruits and vegetables, most of which can be "PYO'd".  We grabbed a little basket and trotted up to the strawberry field, where there was an abundance of perfectly ripe and deliciously tasty fruit awaiting our attention.

The boy just loved it - although I'm not sure that any of his pickings made it into the basket...

Slightly cheaper than supermarket strawbs, and way more fun than the weekly shop, the flavour was just so good!  Of course we had far too many to eat fresh, so I made like my granny and got the preserving pan out for some jam-making.  
I've only made jam a few times and never with strawberries, which are uber-low in pectin, so I did a quick bit of research and decided upon this recipe from The Guardian.
It's turned out oh-so-tasty and relatively well set.  Yummy!  Can't wait to get jamming with more fruit throughout the summer!
Kate x

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Life, outdoors.

PLH had a few days off a couple of weeks ago so we packed up the car and headed down to the Dorset coast for a few days camping with friends.  Packing was no easy matter  - oh my, what a lot of stuff we ended up taking; our not-so-little estate car was packed to the rafters (do cars have rafters?).

I love a bit of camping I do - all my family holidays as a child were spent under a well-worn canvas frame tent.  Tents have moved on a bit since then, and although I dream of pretty bell tents and the like, our outdoor home is a rather un-glamourous and budget-friendly Eurohike vision in green.  In an effort to glam up our camping experience a bit I ran up a little flag for our campsite...
We had an amazing few days - toddlers, tents and the great outdoors are a winning combination.  With the beach and a castle just a steam-train ride away, the site had far-reaching views and a ton of space; it was just perfect.
But best of all was catching up with lovely friends.  With sunshine, with rain, with pimms, with wine and with hot chocolate over the dying embers of a BBQ.  A few (aherm) years have passed and times have a-changed since our "Juicy Lucy" downing days, but the bonds of our friendship remain as important as ever.  Supporting each other through hangovers, coursework, revision and other student dramas has given way to getting to grips with parenthood and this "grown-up" life.

One thing's for sure, this little flag is going to be getting a whole lot of action in the next few years!
Kate x