Sunday, 31 May 2009

Last of the Grand Bazaar

The last pictures inside the bazaar - today should have been a peaceful day of sewing and pottering about - but instead T1 got quite sick, but on the back of the stress of dealing with littles and an over night stay in hospital for T1 - the first night my twins have ever been separated, I got a lovely photo/gift surprise - which lifted my spirits considerably...
This is Abdulla - a towel/soap seller, I adore the light fitting - though this is not a good picture. One of those things to love in someone else's place, couldn't deal with it at home. It was made from old fashioned lamps (where the filament is very obvious) and just lamp holders hung from the cable make sense??

I had to take No3 out of one of the shops whilst my friend was deciding, or else she would have fiddled with one too many fragile item..... so we wandered in the 'street' outside, and watched the comings and goings of a bird - it's nest being in the bottom of the lamp - I love the way the paint is crumbling here.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Felt flowers

These felted flowers came from the larger hat shop – so neat, I admire felt, but have no desire what so ever to make it… unless I could get my mits on an embellisher, then I may change my mind… do I need a new toy? no

Friday, 29 May 2009

Hats in the Bazaar

More from my day out to the Grand Bazaar

I found 2 shops that sell felted stuff, they are opposite each other, one has a huge range of hats, the side view I couldn't resist - they had all sorts of felted stuff, SO yummy, it's the wrong season for hat buying. Maybe in the winter, I would love one of the tall 'dervish' style hats... great colours too. More to come....

I'm ploughing on with the binding of the I spy quilt, mending and other boring things. Though I did get some nice mail today - will blog that soon..... should have been out having fun today.... fun got cancelled and replaced by a slightly whingey No3.... fun will have to wait for another day....

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Day out

When you live in Istanbul, everyone who doesn't live there thinks the Kapalı çarşı or Grand Bazaar is just round the corner - it's a real schlep away for me, although it's on 'this side' of the city, it's not easy. My partner in crime needed gifts for her trip to family in the US and so I decided (with No 3) to tag along. It was quiet when we got there, I wanted to see where she shopped, similar places to me, we had a good wander, saw some 'new' things (some things I'd never noticed before) and learnt a new route there. I guess it's nearly a year since my last trip there. No 3 took it in her stride, decided she didn't want to nap and did her very cute belly-dancer style wave to anyone she could.... more pictures to come...
I think this shop was by B5 gate, then again I could be totally wrong - apparently the best pestemel seller - the shop was crumbling to say the least, but that added to the charm somehow - the stringy knitted things are exfoliating 'mits' they really do work. This guy has pestemels (a thin but very soft towel that is usually used in the hamam - but can be used anywhere - they make fabulous table cloths!) in all forms, big, small, thick, thin..... etc.
The thing that always stuns me about the bazaar is that fact that not only do the guys sell stuff, but they are real linguists, not just the standard languages, but if you speak some near extinct language, you can bet that someone in this place will too - my partner in crime is a Turkish-American - she looks Turkish, we were speaking English. The sales guys would speak to us in English, we would reply in Turkish (her's perfect of course, mine less than perfect) the sales guys would reply back in English - kind of funny. It was the least hassled trip I've made there ever - I'll go at opening time again...

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Silver lining.

Today started off crummy - just 17 degrees and cloudy, then some disappointing news.... but things picked, up the sun came out and I got mail..... good mail - thanks Mr Postie.

From FAT - ATCs from Gretchen, Kristen and Leilenni - they are good - I'm thrilled. I would really like to try sewing with pop cans, but don't have the guts.... one day. 1 more card to come.

I got nearly all the admin for school done today too, including a visit to our new muhtar's office - both the muhtar and the office are new, she gave No3 chocolate - it was quick and painless, everyone was happy.

Monday, 25 May 2009


One of those days where everyone has had a bite of my day but me.... not even 15 minutes stitching in the monster quilt, looks like it's going to be one of those weeks. The school the twins will be at in September now wants 12 passport photos - each. Along with the usual health reports, id checks etc..... going to be a fun few days sorting out bits of paper.

Sunday, 24 May 2009


Musti is T1's name for her very over sized 'Hello Kitty' toy, these of course are her pictures of Musti - I love the fake eyelashes, tummy button and claws...... Musti is very interesting..... I've never seen the cartoon or given her the name, I guess it came from school....
Pictures due to a lack of doing anything of note today - as Pat Mc would say, I've been putzing around..... the only person I've heard using that - guess it's a NY term....

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Acanthus Mollis

I love Acanthus Mollis - really it's a giving plant, beautiful huge fleshy leaves, the dramatic spines of white and purple, and the stunning spikes fading in the winter. They are coming up a storm, these were all from one root cutting, a piece about 15cm long, 4 years ago - I have several clumps now. They didn't do well in my Glasgow garden, they love it here. I wonder how the ones I left behind are.....

Friday, 22 May 2009

Postage stamp quilt

I got the perle thread last week, in the paler blue, and have spent time - sporadically - taking out my flat daisy pins and replacing them with safety pins so that I can avoid getting stabbed by this monster whilst working on it - I decided to go for a free-form wavy line, there are many disadvantages to a straight line in this case, the biggest one is knowing where to put it - so have gone with an intentional wobble. I hope to finish it in fewer years less than it's taken to get to this point......

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Flying kites on the beach

Wednesday was a school holiday, again - it was blustery and grey, so we got the kites and went to the beach - the littles spent nearly an hour 'being flown' the wind was strong. The best part we had the whole place to our selves - perfect. Once they'd had enough kite flying we went down to the beach - T2 ventured into the sea, T1 didn't take her coat off (she had shorts on - go figure) It was very good diversion which tired them out. The wind made the sea choppy and the air smell of the sea. The only downside, it was the first time I'd worn proper 'shoes' since the toe affair and being released from the tape a couple of weeks back. I need to go back to Dr Eftel, I'm not a happy bunny today... it hurts... thank goodness they were in school today.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Incoming mail - ATC's

My first ATC's arrived yesterday - they made great time from the US, from Janice and Normajean, both far nicer in the flesh, Janice's has a rubberised feel to it, Normajean's has fine net over it, need to look back through old FAT posts to see how they made them, 4 more to come!

Monday, 18 May 2009


I solved the butter dilemma, I called my neighbour at 7.45am and she brought a 250g block to the street when we put our kids on the school bus - perfect. It was suitably soft too. The cake was made in double quick time, I hadn't read the exact instructions, just scanned the ingredients. It needed 1 1/4 hours of cooking, but took longer, it was warm when our first guests arrived, and so cracked when I cut it - but it was delicious warm.... we sat outside, the littles played, wandered in and out - a good morning.

I put most of the binding on T2's quilt, I need to trim it (it's got a 1 inch wide double french binding so I trim it once it's attached - I find it's more accurate) T1 has yet to decide which additional colour she wants on the binding, she keeps saying orange, but I KNOW she is a pink girl and am waiting for her to change her mind, because - I know she will.... I had 2 littles 'helping' me by holding the binding.... is it finished yet? will mine be finished first? I want mine first? you know the questions, or can guess them..... nearly 5 year olds are not the best sewing companions, unless they are asleep.....

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Lazy day?

Thank goodness for Skype - today was busy doing 'nothing', calling friends, waiting for calls back(still!), catching up on email (or not!) tidying up the stray bits that get scattered during the week - I got all the quilting finished on the I spy quilts, just the last few threads to bury and then to bind them both, the binding is ready... waiting... it will get done. Then I discovered we had NO BUTTER in the house, it was 9.1o, I was poised for cake baking - the local supermarket closed at 9pm, I need to make a cake for 10am tomorrow..... the supermarket opens at 9am..... so it's either find a coconut cake made with sunflower oil (I detest margarine - won't have it in the house!) or make a mad dash at 9 for butter .... unless I get distracted by something else... 3 days of 29 degrees, the heating is off, the jeans and long sleeves have been put away - it makes me SO happy...

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Baby Birds?

Thank-you to Mr R for the picture.....

Above us flew columns of storks heading to Europe for the summer, they form the most stunning chimneys/columns 'mummy, are they baby birds?'

We spent this afternoon with friends, 7 littles, 6 adults, 6 of the littles are born within a year of each other, they played remarkably well together... Dinner was cooked on a re-modeled school desk, one of the best 'low-tech' BBQ's I've seen - again no picture as I didn't have my camera.... We came home full and happy....

Friday, 15 May 2009

Rebuilding history

The first really hot day of the summer, it snuck up to 29 degrees, lovely..... we decamped to the garden, pottered about in the shade, played with No3 in the sand box. T1 managed to keep her thick winter tights on all day at school - t2 came home in long trousers and a long sleeve t-shirt, not hot enough for them yet! Nothing creative today - except burying some threads - so here's one I took last week.....

I regularly pass by or through one of the 3 local aqueducts - this one is being repaired, it's a long stretch outside of Kemerburgaz, the aqueducts have a fascinating and long history, I don't think they carry any water today, but they look fabulous. The scale is stunning - the workers are lost. The scaffolding is scary...... This is just a tiny slice of this monster aqueduct, Uzunkemer, it's 25m tall and 711m long..... it's impressive! It's repair makes me happy...

Thursday, 14 May 2009


So, lighter blue floss, dark blue, cream, white or red, I roughly stitched these, to try out the colour, I'm erring towards the lighter blue (the top) it's not so harsh, the cream looks dirty on the white, the white looks white on the cream and they both fade into the background - the red is too hard, not so sure about the dark blue. I have mail to take to my PO tomorrow and the shop that sells the floss is opposite there, this is No 8 Perle, not being able to get either cotton a broder or sashiko thread at a instant.....

T2's quilt is nearly quilted, just need to bury the threads, and then find the bits missing quilting and really finish quilting it, the binding is ready and waiting, so that will happen quickly, though I need to get them finished at roughly the same time to avoid war.... So lighter blue or dark blue??

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain

This sink instantly reminded me of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain it has a very shallow depression, but stunningly works like a dream. Suitably impressed by the sink - in the disabled toiltes, at the newest Istanbul hospital - T1 and T2 took great delight in tearing up and down the corridors, and into other waiting areas - 'Tada!' as T1 was shouting to the slightly bemused patients, not so patiently waiting. I just got annoyed at the lack of signs to the car-park.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Basting in the sun

I put this out on the front to baste it - I had 3 half used cans of 505, my favourite spray baste but after doing both twin's quilts there wasn't enough left, so it was regular pins, then I lifted it up, I'll put safety pins in it now - I may end up basting it by hand to release some of the pins. Going anywhere near it is like a DIY course of acupuncture, and I need the pins!
How to quilt it? - plus there is a massive pleat in it that needs some attention - I'm thinking of unpicking a couple of seams then slip stitching it down - this isn't going to the festival of quilts after all...... and toying with the idea of some sashiko style stitching - machine quilting it will highlight the way it will not lay flat....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Anneler Gününüz Kutlu Olsun

So today is Turkish Mother's day - somehow I've fallen through the cracks with this Mother's day business, I would like to do British Mother's day, but this year I got neither...... maybe next year I'll get 2, I can live in hope... T1 (l) and T2 (r) made these at school, not sure if they are just decorative or for putting hot pans on - they are the stylised tulip which is the symbol of Turkey and Istanbul - they brought them home on Friday, they didn't quite get the idea of Mother's day and assumed it was my birthday.....

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Many, many, moons ago I worked for a high end shirt manufacturer in the UK, I salvaged a lot of the old salesmen's sample books, from these and some sample lengths of shirting I made this monster - it's 2.55m by 3m, (about 100x 120 inches) it's big, the center postage stamp bit, the pieces are about inch 'square', alas nothing is square, it was started WAY before I ever had a rotary cutter, it was chain pieced with random seam allowances, there are a couple of pleats in the backing - which is also pieced (the 9 patches). But..... it's not as bad as I remembered.
So when t2 has allowed me or No3 to get near this quilt today - he played 'sausage rolls' or 'pigs in blankets' depending on which side of the water you are from. No3 just snuggled down in it and pretended she was asleep - I snipped off the buttons and started unpicking the quilting, there doesn't seem too much but given the size there is more than I imagined. So on a day where it was 24 degrees in the shade I sat with a huge quilt over most of me!
I plan not to harvest the batting (it's warm and natural) but to spray baste it when I do the I spy quilts and just lightly quilt it, using a wonky line and the walking foot - anything else will be torture. It needs a good hot wash, some stray cat hair on it - I can't remember working on it for at least 5 years..... still I hope a lot of the 'character' quilts out - who knows, I'm sure there will still be pleats! I'll keep it for in the garden and when the nights get cool and the bugs start attacking - and of course snuggling and playing sausage rolls!

Friday, 8 May 2009

I Spy - WIP

T1's quilt top is finished, due to a lack friends to chat to tonight - everyone is either in bed or out.... so the top got finished. I have a massive quilt I started as a 'naive' postage stamp quilt, but got bored with the slow speed and other things, so added some big squares, pieced the back and decided it really didn't work, it's partially quilted with small spirals of hand quilting and shirt buttons - I've not worked on it for years .... anyway my next task is to cull the monster and harvest the batting to use for t1's and t2's quilts (it is huge, perhaps 3m square) I have to find it first... guess it's something to do on Sunday...

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bzzzz - the sound of wisteria

There is some great wisteria in the area where we live, it's luscious and decadent, it grows up telephone poles and engulfs other trees. This tiny one is at our local 'social club' we celebrated one of our friend's 40th there yesterday. Littles played on the lawn, we sat, chatted, had tea and ate birthday cake. What more can you wish for?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Incoming mail

I first started trading cards when my twins were born, in 2004. The original UK group I belonged to is still alive and this is one from that group - Flower Power from Carole in Burton. It's an early bird, I need to work on mine, though I know what I am going to do!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Here's one I made earlier...

Nothing to show - nothing creative happening here today - appointments, looking for things, long phone calls, complaining about rain or plain old just shivering - suddenly it's autumn - how did that happen?? Somehow I missed summer!
Here's one I made earlier, a gift for a boy who loves cars, for him to stash some of his stash in and take out with him, both he and his mom love it. Felt, buttons and FME, then a simple ribbon drawstring to close it. Inspired by one of T2's t-shirts.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


Who? Hissing Sid... T1 and T2 are into puppets at the moment - I plan on making some at home - OK I'll make some blanks and let them draw their own puppets, but they are totally into this snake from school (the blue one) I borrowed it for the weekend after spotting some perfect 'snake' fabric. It worked out well, even though the fabric is silk - was a devil to sew (french seams and a proper rolled hem) which meant that our new snakes are smaller than the school one. This is when I wish I had a serger, but then again I think how much would I use it? not much, until I then need one again and think I should start looking for a second hand one...... then again having seen the new Bernina, maybe I should start saving my pennies, and maybe when I'm 1,601 years old - I can treat myself! (back of the envelope maths.... a UK penny a day and no price increases or interest) ... maybe I would still want a serger then too .... I love my 9 year old Bernina 150QE, but sometimes I just get Nina Envy.
I read Ami Simms' blog - she had a link to this museum - MOBA - the best EVER reason to visit Boston again.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

I spy - more WIP

T2's quilt is growing - not exactly how I imagined this quilt to look, but I guess when you let a nearly 5 year old decide what he wants, this is what you get. He's thrilled, but just can't understand why it's taking SO much time. He's insisting it's a quilt blanket still... grrr... T1's quilt hasn't grown at all in the last 24 hours. Thank goodness No3 can't ask!
Mommy must spend less time chatting with friends at night and more time making quilts! haha!

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