Friday, 24 February 2012

The Good Life

This week I have been:

Day dreaming on my steps

And reading :
'The Best of Jackie French - a practical guide to everything from aphids to zucchini chocolate cake'
'Organic Home - the Australian guide to clean green living'

With a cup of tea I have been writing lists of 'things to do' ... (and admiring the handmade knitted dishcloth which currently is too nice to use for its intended purpose)

Tea Cosy made by Jenny

Making soap from scratch (with various degrees of success)

Soap made from dripping

Soap made from olive oil

Enjoying something fresh from my garden every day.

Squeezed into a 2 x 1m garden is golden zucchini, cherry tomatoes, spinach and capsicum

Today I think I will make parsley pesto.

Friday, 17 February 2012


Its only half way through February and I already find myself over-committed to too many projects.

Instead of doing the sensible thing and working steadily towards deadlines I find myself sitting on the back steps contemplating life.

And enjoying the sunshine :)


Friday, 10 February 2012

And then the rain came .... wet weather projects

View from my studio window 
Its been rainy and overcast for about a week  now. Not that Im complaining, I love this sort of weather and its always a good excuse to curl up with a project. Ive been working on finishing a couple of projects (new years resolution and all that) and Im excited that Im actually getting some stuff finished. 

100 Granny Squares
Ive been watching loads of tv so that I can finish my granny square rug (series one and two of Grand Designs on DVD - Im now inspired to build something, but thats another story). Ive completed the 100 squares and now its ready to put together. Being a bit new to crochet I wasnt sure the best way to join the squares, and found a fabulous tutorial at Attic 24. Not only was the tutorial fabulous, her whole blog is really interesting and well worth a visit.

Kochira the cat helping select the blocks for my Gate Quilt

Over a year ago I was part of an online patchwork bee - you may have heard of them. A group of people get together via the internet, and each month a person sends out their fabrics to the rest of the people in the group with some instructions on what they would like to have made. It was a great introduction to quilting for me (I also met up with some friends who were part of the group and I learnt some great techniques, as well a lovely excuse to eat cake and drink cups of tea). The down side is that some people are less likely to complete the project than others. Consequently, I have received finished blocks from half the group, and the other half seem to have disappeared!  

My block was inspired by a gate design I saw in Sydney (it also happens to be the same design as the gate on my little cottage - a very nice coincidence). It is a little tricky to put together, and it looks like I have to sew about 8 more blocks to make up for the missing ones sent out to the quilting bee. Thankfully Ive got a stack of DVD's to watch and its perfect weather to be indoors ....


Friday, 3 February 2012

My top 7 foodie spots to visit in London

I spent a number of years living and working in London. I caught up with a friend recently who was planning a trip to London and she asked me for a list of my favourite places to visit. Funnily enough most of my favourite places were food related! Anyhow, I thought I would share the list with you too

1.St Christophers place

A little lane off Oxford Street connects you to this delightful stretch of cafes and interesting stores. There is a Godeva (amazing chocolate) store along here which is definitely worthwhile checking out. They
make the best chocolate.

2. Broadway Market markets
This place is probably my best discovery of London. Although tucked away in the East End and a little bit of a trek to get to - it is well worth it. One of the more artistic yet gentrified areas of the east end there is a market which is less mainstream than spitalfields and the road is lined with interesting shops and cafes and bars. Its very arty. Love it.

3.Candid Arts Coffee Shop
My favourite cofee shop in london. Its tucked away above a gallery just behind Angel tube.
It is very shabby with a little bit of chic, dark and cosy and brilliant to be tucked away on a grey london day. Also around Angel on the weekend are wonderful 2nd hand / antique markets.

4. the cheese shop in marlebone high street - La Fromagerie
This little hole in the wall is full of great cheeses - and even if cheese isnt your passion it has a great cafe where everyone squeezes onto a long table and enjoys the rustic atmosphere. A definite must to check out. Next door is the Ginger Pig Butcher which sells organic meat and has great pies.

Great deals for cheap eats in London
This was my favourite website in london as you can join for free and get the most amazing deals at restaurants around london. Through this site we found a 15 pound curry meal deal in Islington. Delish!

6. 15 pounds all you can eat sushi in Soho - Hi Sushi
This place has the most amazing value for sushi. we used to eat here often and it was always good. If you go for dinner, make sure you book as it is small and fills up quickly.

7. Smiths on Smithsfield

This place is very trendy and has delicious food and drinks. This area of London is the 'new' arty/trendy area and is worth an explore. There are lots of design offices and my favourite nightclub was in this area.

I hope you have enjoyed my virtual tour of London. Thinking about it, there are a few more places I havent mentioned, so Ill save that for a part 2.

 For those who have been, what is your favourite place in London?  



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