Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Fun day

I'm going to print this picture T1 kindly took of the swimming pool - and use it for the plus size inchies trade (OK that's the plan, please no body take real notice of it) we had a 'interesting' day. Including a visit from a mouse. The Turkish word for all 4 legged rodents is 'Fare' which means mouse, but is used interchangeably with rat - I am sure there is a word for rat, but mouse sounds so much cuter. It was a tiny field mouse - we're very close to fields so it makes sense - they run fast... very fast.... 1 little took refuge on the counter, 1 ran excitedly about - I took off all the kick boards from the kitchen cabinets - and vacuumed Mickey up in the end - it was still living and went into the garden where it belongs. Great fun for the kids, the underneath of the cupboards got vacuumed, kick boards co-operated and went back on quickly (for a change) and then we withdrew to swim - we needed it... fortunately No3 was napping - lets hope tomorrow is uneventful, but it did provide light relief in between the bicker-fest.....

Monday, 29 June 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - June

I planned on doing this yesterday - but didn't. The challenge is due Tuesday, but given the school holidays - no daytime sewing. I haven't quilted it, although I submitted a photo of it for the challenge. One of the thin framing borders is off, it will make me nuts to look at - so I need to unpick it and re-do it. Then I will quilt it. I guess un-sewing is achievable between refereeing. The center panel was done with fins, not being a fan of folded or tweaked fabrics, I would never in a million years choose to do this myself - but that's what challenges are about now, eh?

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Shadow box table - bottle top pin cushions

Yet another section of the table - 3 are mine, the rest have been traded/gifted. Both T2 and I were sick yesterday - whilst a nearly 5 year old can sleep in the shade of the quince tree all day and feel bright the next day - mommy can't.... I didn't do anything today except play catch up from yesterday, and groan about my aching bones - hopefully it'll be gone tomorrow, what ever it is...

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Shadow box table - Plus size inchies

Another section of the table - the plus size inchies that I traded a while back - the theme was B.... there is another trade coming up 'what summer means to me', may do that, may not....

Friday, 26 June 2009


T2 jumping into the pool - the cookies met strong approval by my cookie making expert friend, the littles played well together - lots of swimming, jumping and general splashing about - surprisingly they managed to stay up 'late', I hope they sleep late tomorrow....

Thursday, 25 June 2009


We spent this morning making cookies - the littles would not accept biscuits, as the cookie monster ate cookies - not owning this book and having the text randomly quoted is quite disturbing, not just sentences but huge chunks.
I discovered I have about 3 biscuit recipes, chocolate chip(right) and chocolate chip with nuts(left) had been requested so that is what we made. Martha came to the rescue, but I did to some serious sugar reduction, substitutions and additional nuts - the cookies we made I assume are quite different. They are however delicious - Trust in Martha! We have a play date tomorrow with the best biscuit maker I know - will wait for her opinion, I think they are great!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Shadow box table - Stencils

I got this set of stencils many many years ago - more than 20, I think they are art deco - some of the designs are very AD - anyway - they sit here - teasing me to use them. I have tried, they are not easy to use, they are made from thin rolled brass, all have a slight kink - I guess I should press them or something first, once upon a time I had the idea to just frame them all - didn't get round to that...... but some good news - I found the missing section of machine needle! yahahhay! I feel safe to use the machine now - where was it? under a radiator - it must have been flung there by force.

Monday, 22 June 2009


I was in our nearest Boyner (Turkish department store) and spotted this duvet cover - the circles were cut from satin ribbon with I guess a laser as the edges were sealed, the stitched on in a way to make it look hand stitched, I guess they wanted it to look like buttons, which it did from a distance. Super neat!
On the same display was this quilt, sasiko-ed to death in China, but with these lovely bobbles of reds and earth colours - yummy.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Broken Needle

When ever I break a machine needle, the first thing I do is check that I have all the bits, I get out a new needle and put it side by side with the broken pieces. Grrr - when this one broke this afternoon, off went a chunk, 1/4 of an inch - 7mm of metal is somewhere in the bobbin area - since it's not on the table, floor or in the sewing..... now I must muster super-woman like strength to open up the screw that was tightened (by a man) way too tight, to access the underside of the bobbin casing ..... Grrr.... I just hope I can find the missing bit - I've had the machine running - slowly - it seems fine, but I'm too nervous to use it with the missing chunk lurking near the beautiful Swiss engineering......

Saturday, 20 June 2009


So I'm driving and I see this carousel - just sitting there at the side of the road - really just by the road, on a piece of land, doing nothing, weird - it's miles from anywhere - the nearest attraction is a go-carting place and cemetery - it puzzles me somewhat. There was no one around to ask.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Last day of school

Today was the last day of school - I'm not sure when the littles will go back - there is a national holiday in September, there is talk that it's after that - so somewhere in the area of 12 weeks holiday - eeeekkk - the past couple of years they've gone to summer school - when I was heavily pregnant, then last year to learn to swim.
I've elicited a list of things they want to do - fortunately most 'projects' involve cardboard boxes - which I can acquire, there are no outrageous suggestions, except T1's request to go to Bodrum - but with Miss T - her teacher, which I'm sure she'd be flattered about but is looking forward to a break!
I made the key fobs, they are slightly over sized, for the 2 class teachers and the 2 support teachers from T1 and T2's line drawings. I used No 8 Perle in the bobbin and stitched from the reverse on to felt. I fused the felt to some cotton and then sealed it in iron-on vinyl - just like the ones I made before. Again I used my magnificent Crop-a-Dile to fix the grommets and the rings were from yesterdays shopping trip - easy!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Grey day

It was a grey day and I needed to go into town to get findings for the kids teachers 'end of year' gift. The clouds never gave up their load though threatened all day - No 3 and I spent time watching the boats, seagulls - and she chasing the lazy pigeons on the waterfront. Gifts finished and will be blogged tomorrow - when I hope it'll be a sunny day again - and - of course the last day of school...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Shadow box table - Nazar boncuğu

This section has soft, rounded stones that I've picked up at various beaches, and lots of Nazar Boncu - these are to keep away bad luck and are extensively used, pinned onto children, hung on walls, set in cement - if anyone would wish you bad luck then these amulets protect you - easy. When I was pregnant with T1 and T2 I got a bracelet with 4 eyes, which now protects me and the 3 littles - neat eh?
I've often been out and it's been discovered that one or all of the littles are not wearing them (they rarely do - I'm more worried about them eating the safety pin used to attach them) Nazar boncukları have been procured and attached, Turks are very superstitious in this way. The one in my car went missing somehow - I suspect it got vacuumed up - I guess the vacuum now has super protection (note to self, get evil eye protection for the car)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Shadow box table - Buttons

I love proper shell buttons, these are all in another section of my newly revealed table top - I need to keep stuff off it - there is already a pile of kids drawings crept back on it. Maybe I should invent a mid year resolution - to keep this table empty? but then again it's a table - it needs to be used... dilemma!?

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Shadow box table - Many moons ago

Many moons ago I got a 'coffee table' from Ikea, it's got 18 compartments in the top to put stuff, which is then covered in glass, so that you can see all your gems.... unless it's covered in life debris. With the impending holidays (just 5 more school days) I need to get some order, today I attacked the 'office'. I'm also painfully aware of the fact that the littles will bring home a HUGE pile of work - so in between an 80's revival fest, love Youtube - I cleared the top of the table - amazing - this hasn't been seen for a few months... I get to see all my tchotchkes - the wooden heart has been around for 20+ years, traveling the world with me, the glass ones are Pasabache...

Saturday, 13 June 2009

New Work

It's that time of year - work is being sent home from school and the task of dealing with a years worth of school work is transferred to mom..... what to do not to be swamped with paper? anyone got any great ideas?? These were from the end of year 'show' T2's penguins, and T1's dolphin (T2 is dolphin boy - I was surprised that she didn't draw a cat!)

Friday, 12 June 2009


Well since I'm not starting a shop I guess it's OK to have this Banksy image - quite a cool guy when you get over the concept of graffiti vs. art - I read up on him today - after seeing in the news he's managed to hold an exhibition in his 'native' Bristol, without anyone in the higher echelons of the public council knowing about it. Why these folks didn't see the public gallery had several weeks of unscheduled time surprises me, but then again with all the things happening in UK politics (duck houses for example) it's hardly surprising.
In honour of the British Community Council's fete that's tomorrow at the Consulate (that I will not be going to) here's a patriotic Banksy....

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Let them eat cake

So whilst the cakes would never feature in Good housekeeping - must work on my fondant technique! haha! They went down a storm. T2 featuring in his own rocket and T1 told all the class that her Minnie's had eyes but mommy needed to pain on the mouths - which was of great concern to the teachers. The Fondant was delicious and totally edible - worth the effort. The M&M's/Smarties/Bonibons were there to hide the dodgy joins - but look quite good. I have a small piece of each cake left, which in true household birthday tradition will get eaten tomorrow morning for breakfast..... they'll bounce to school - these two cakes used over 2kg of sugar.....

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

MM Fondant

You want to do something that's fun - make fondant icing..... I would have preferred to buy it. I went to our local cake shop (who use it a lot) and asked if they would sell me some, the owner went into a lengthy speech about how difficult it is to make, and how she imports it from Holland.... but simply refused to sell me any - sending me to the end of the earth to look for some - but couldn't tell me where. She then suggested that she make me the cake.... and charge me several arms and legs for it..... back to the drawing board, or Internet!
I discovered marshmallow fondant... I'm sure I could get glycerin and can get gelatin -to use the traditional recipe - it seemed so unpredictable.... but this route seemed reliable - alas more expensive - 20YTL (US$13) for a 300g/12oz package of marshmallows!

You all got back on your seats now??
Then again how much does ready made fondant cost??

The fondant is beautiful - silky soft and dazzling white, smells yummy too - and tastes good, but what a performance to make it - only try this if you have another adult handy.... I think the littles were bemused to see me clarted up (sp) with icing sugar and glop.... 30 mins later I had over 3lb of fondant, enough for the 2 cakes I will make for their school birthdays (like the queen they will have an official and a real birthday this year - since their birthday is after school finishes) so the next step is to bake the cake, tomorrow, and get T1 to come up with a consistent request - T2's rocket is easy..... T1 has passed through the solar system (yes!) on to Minnie Mouse - not sure which is worse. Need the cakes on Thursday. She needs to decide (secretly hoping for Hello Kitty!)
No photos of the process, really it was too difficult to corral the kids and icing sugar, and clean my hands but I would thoroughly recommend making it (especially if you can pay regular prices for marshmallows!) and it leaves your hands beautifully soft..... then again hand cream is easier!

Monday, 8 June 2009


Due to a distinct lack of blog-able items today another oya picture - a mystery flower. We discovered No3 likes water fights - which made T1 and T2's epic water fight/lets help mommy water the garden session this evening quite hilarious, whilst being surprised by the sudden water 'hit' it just reduced her into fits of giggles or crazy running and jumping.... neat! mommy wasn't so happy at being drenched though.... that water is COLD...

Sunday, 7 June 2009


So this was the finished 19x18 inch piece, ready for fusing - the flowers were all FME'd on to the base, then fused with Wonder-under.

This is 11 by 8.5 inches (A4) and will go to the QGBI for their Little Gem's tombola at the Festival of Quilts in August - since I have no quilt to exhibit this year, at least I have a piece of work there!
6 of these will go the BQL postcard group - the first group I belonged to nearly 5 years ago.... I feel good that these are done now.....

Saturday, 6 June 2009


Our Jasmine is in full bloom, it took 3 days for the whole wall to become a fragrant mass of tiny white gems against the waxy green leaves. I was watering the garden and in heaven this evening. I generally don't tolerate strong smells, bleach, perfume, aftershave, air-freshener or Asiatic lilies, but jasmine - I adore. The whole house is swimming in sweetness.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Flower Power

I joined a trade, the first in quite a while, I forgot it was due May 31st.... duh - I fished this out of the box of half done projects. I'm not sure if I've blogged it's beginning - I pained the base with some thinned acrylics, it was a lilac-blue to start with. Then using de-constructed artificial flowers I fme'd it... I should have put vileen on the back (this is probably the reason it got into the box in the first place) I plan to turn it into the Flower Power cards, and perhaps a Little Gem - it's 18 inches square - mostly done - but it's one of those things where more is good..... I plan on using wonder-under or something like to fuse the front to batting/card depending on the final piece.

Thursday, 4 June 2009


I have no issue with pre-loved items, I routinely acquire kids clothing and books. Most of my books leave the house once read via bookcrossing - which is super cool or else we'd be living in the Istanbul equivalent of the NYPL....
One of our friends is leaving soon and decided to have a clear out. Her household stuff went to one of the local charities but books and English language DVDs were not appropriate, so she decided to hold a swapping party - hopefully to give all the stuff away. We were encouraged to bring DVDs, books and nearly new/clothes with tags.... I went with 6 things and came back with about 10 - but that was OK. I came home with a gorgeous summer dress, as new - I adore the shell buttons, it's linen and just the perfect size, I'm SO thrilled about it! Some 'new' books and a beautiful new soft leather handbag - can you see my happy dance, I was slightly sceptical about it turning into a free-for-all, but it was very civilised, I got to meet a couple of new ladies, a few cups of coffee and a morning out with No3 - fun.....

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Easter Rabbit

Kate offered her Easter Rabbit pattern on her blog - stunningly this arrived here from the UK after just 3 days, from her hands to mine. Quite amazing - she also included the small heart one. I don't do many x-stiches at all, I fancied this one (I liked her Snow one more.....) will work on this when I get the odd hour waiting for some small person etc..... she very thoughtfully included some even-weave.... I have no excuse..... Thanks Kate!

Monday, 1 June 2009

BQL Calender Challenge - May

I did start this in May - though got the call to go to the hospital and it didn't get finished, I'd already put the III in - using scrap wadding and cutting away the excess. I'd only ever done trapunto the old way - with wool and teasing open the fabric - this was easy and fast, though a little scary trimming so close to the stitching/top fabric. The challenge called for quilting akin to McTavishing - aka - death by quilting. Some of the curls are a bit fat, and I need to add a line of stitching to make them skinny - there is a lot of quilting here, thanks to T1 making a hundred cat pictures and baby napping I got it done over lunch time. Maybe this month I'll start early - haha! how many times have I said that.... T1 recovering....

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