Thursday, 28 October 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's been 5 months since my last post, and we are back again at the Quilters Blog festival - organised by Amy.

This is a fabric postcard (4 by 6 inches/ 10 by 15 cm) something I have worked on over the past few months in small doses. All hand stitched and part of a larger panel of 9 that I sliced up. I love doing hand work - it is forgiving and portable. With a long humid summer and 3 littles to watch - it was my sole piece of work. I love this technique - the way the colours merge, the unpredictability - rather like having littles...

In the Kantha style - no wadding just 3 layers - one of which was Vilene ironed onto the back of the fabric for stability. I 'made' the fabric using water soluble crayons.
Kantha is an Indian/Pakistani style of stitching - it's very graphic - I love the work of Lynne Setterington. These cards went to BLQ members for one of their trades. The in-progress pictures are on the main blog.

Blue postcards - in progress

I usually use a base of good quality Egyptian cotton - that has a beautiful soft hand. It's cotton that is sold for sheeting - and has had a good hot wash.
I coloured circles of mainly blue onto it directly - no pencil outlines as they tend not to fade. I used blue, turquiose and some purple. Using Caran D'Ache - Neocolors.
I then spritzed it with plain water.

And waited - and spritzed some more - and magic happened.

It dries slowly and merges even more...

The whole was then ironed onto a piece of vileen and then stitched and a few sequins were added so that when it was cut most cards would have a group of 3.

Done! - it was around 20 inches by 14 inches.

The finished cards are backed with Watercolour paper and have a border of heavy cotton cord that is zig-zagged on. I send these through the regular postal system 'naked' - without a plastic or paper envelope

Friday, 21 May 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival

Amy at Park City Girl is having her fabulous quilt festival again - I've decided to show these, they were a challenge I did last year with the FAT group. They are 'Sorrow, joy, love, surprise and fear' top to bottom, each is 5 inches square but still linked with a red thread....

I made them as one piece and then gathered the courage to cut them...
the original posts are here sorrow , joy, love, surprise, fear
thanks for looking - main blog home page

Friday, 30 April 2010

In the spring break

The pool that we use has this great Hamam, which we usually use, depending on who is in there - usually it's empty. The elderly ladies who we occasionally meet in there can be unpredictable when faced with several littles intent on a waterfight..... We keep the littles at the bottom end and get to sit and chat and do what you do in a hamam at the door end. This is a DIY hamam... no staff except for a grumpy door lady....

These are the marble 'sinks' they have no hole in the bottom, No3 thinks it's fabulous to sit inside these..... yes that is steam!

You pour the water over yourself with these copper bowls, or throw water at your friends of course. The pool we use is on the 'fresh' side temperature wise, the hamam is always so toasty it's very welcome....

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I missed my birthday

How did that happen - my 2nd blogoversary got forgotten - the ticker no longer works, or is beyond my skills to fix..... so here is cake!
This is the most fabulous cake I have eaten for such a long time..... I have the recipe, in Turkish, which I will, translate, convert to metric and then try - it seems way too easy on first reading for such a great cake, it's creme caramel on a chocolate sponge, all cooked at the same time. The caramel soaks into the sponge.... I had a piece one day, and was dreaming all night of a piece the next day..... fortunately there was some left. mmmm did I say it was good??
My friends are bad, introducing me to something SO good!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Silly Halloween fun....

I keep falling off the blogging waggon. Every time there is a school holiday it seems to take 2 weeks to get things straight. Not everything in our life is straight.... but you do the best you can. After the excitement for the Halloween party in October, Lisajo said she was going to bless us with some Halloween goodies that were on sale...
The came at a fantastic time, smack in the middle of spring break, the clings were put on the window, the trick or treat bags were toted about and there was talk of making cookies.... we have yet to try the cookie cutters out.... The plate and bowl got stashed quickly

Weirdly I found the packing paper very interesting..... small town newspaper. Included was a piece of fabric - I think this will get made into a table cloth...... no hurry, it's only 6 months until then.... maybe I should start soon .... haha.... and a Sandra Dallas book too - the first one - will see what they are all about.....
Thank-you dear friend!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Mutlu Paskalya

We went down to one of the chocolate makers on Saturday and the littles got to choose either an egg or a chicken - all the rabbits had gone. There really wasn't bloom on the chocolate, they just got seriously shaken on the way home. Interestingly, rather being sold by the item they were sold by weight.... half a kilo of chocolate divided by 3 littles..... boy child chose the black chocolate... they got lucky and the owner gave them all eggs as well, a hen size chocolate egg, but for free - yeahhay!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Easter is not celebrated here, but in the bakeries there is a special Easter bread called Paskalya - a kind of Brioche with finely ground walnuts on the top. There are lots of variations - we had a delicious one on Friday. One of our Turkish friends dropped one in from a 'famous' bakery. It was delicious and eaten way before I got the camera out so you'll have to have the link...... This is Binur's blog - a seriously good Turkish cooking blog. One of the few that I use for reference to figure out the detail of a dish.... she's good!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


It turned beautiful this afternoon, very warm and sunny - after icy rain yesterday... No3 couldn't resist taking her shoes off, and splashing. This all in the current favourite fairy dress. The blossom is from the peach tree which is now creating our own natural confetti. Beautiful!

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Happy Birthday x2

It's full swing birthday party season here, fortunately everyone is well now as we had a double party today - a semi-inseparable pair of the twin's friends. The cake was another Pelit one, slightly over sized as you can see from the little hands picking at the icing, but it was very well done, and delicious. All the littles had their faces painted and an interesting Russian/Turkish buffet for the adults with some delicious potato curry..... On the other side of things - we arrived to glorious sunshine and the littles playing outside and left the weather having dropped perhaps 10 degrees and after a couple of heavy rain showers.... one of the Turkish moms told me .... 'Never trust Istanbul weather or women.....' interesting... the first time I've heard this one.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

What I did Tuesday night

Poor No3 couldn't fight the nasty D+V bug that is doing the rounds, we ended up in the paediatric emergency ward for help..... so sad to see that 'huge' cannula on a tiny hand..... she's not back to her self but is much improved, and has generously shared the bug with the rest of the family - generous wee soul she is.....

Monday, 22 March 2010

Peach blossom time

Yahhay it's spring - the peach blossom is out, I took these a day back, but the tree is laden with blossom and humming bugs.... t2 made a special survey which involved dangerous boy's activities - trying to convince him he IS NOT spider man in any incarnation is difficult, but he did get it in the end. We got new sand for the sandbox, some garden toys out of the basement... and had a conversation about growing potatoes (no idea why potatoes since we rarely eat them anyway!) The blossoms are slightly deformed, -2 degrees, unexpectedly a couple of nights back has taken it's toll. I guess it makes little difference, all these blossoms will fade and leaves grow, which will be shriveled in the sun and with the help of peach leaf curl virus. Only 2 summers in the past 4 I've had a good yield, regardless of spraying with copper.... this year I am inclined to do nothing, there was massive defoliation after the 2nd spray last year.... and the tree looked scruffy all summer, though still gave some good shade.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


One of my friends was having a clear out - beads, sequins, charms and lots of paints - perfect for the up coming summer holidays (hush!) and some dressing up clothes.... 3 boxes of loot.... now to find a place for all of it! a little bit like Christmas.....

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Seeing spots

A week ago I painted T2's bedroom, he'd made several 'attempts' at changing the brownish-pink paint, with nail varnish, marker pen, felt tip and crayon..... it was yukky looking. I gave in. We went to the hardware store and this is the colour he chose, no conspiracy with Sadik Bey (I had imagined trying to persuade him out of fluorescent yellow!) He was thrilled with the roller Sadik gave him and 'helped' with the process..... Yesterday he decided he wanted blue spots on his yellow walls..... dilemma - do I paint blue spots and then have to deal with de-spotting the room some time in the future, yada yada.... or .... do I get him to make his own blue spots and blu-tak them onto the walls.... blu-tak won. They look cute, 'sadly' he now has a 'great idea!' - lets put spots on his white duvet cover.... sticking them on with blu-tak will not work this time!

Friday, 19 March 2010

3 day challenge - day 3

The last steps were to stitch the pieces together, add words and embellish the points. It is held together by wrapping yarn around it. Very cute. Thank-you Leilani! Just the right size for No3's head...
Aren't her chubby fingers the cutest?

Thursday, 18 March 2010

3 day challenge - day 2

It dried good! - I sandwiched and using FME stitched the top to the base, no wadding, then waited for day 2's instructions... they were,
'take your SCISSORS.... and cut out little jagged triangle notches into the top edge of your piece! about 1/2" or so.. THEN..... fold your strip in half and cut down this fold - then fold those two pieces and cut down those folds... so you will end up with FOUR EQUAL pieces.' There was an optional extra of adding some light embellishment, I seed stitched the pieces whilst the littles watched a movie with their friends and I chatted with my girlfriends at our local 'co-op' - they are used to my stitching now, and are always interested. Somehow they just didn't get my blind faith in following instructions with no pre-determined end.... 'so, what is it going to be again?' was said more than once.... love them all!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

3 day challenge - day 1

The FAT group I belong to had just issued a new 3 day challenge, you don't know the end result - for 3 days we get 'instructions'. This one called for 'find a sturdy-type of fabric, thick muslin or lighter canvas-cloth and cut out a 15" x 4" strip. alter it - by either coloring it or stamping all over it...drawing it, fabric-painting it...etc.
Fuse it to another length of 15" x 4" strip (un-altered) - you could alter it if you'd like (then fuse it to the wrong side - so both altered sides are facing outward). Free-motion stitch all over it'
I used the soluble wax crayons - caran d'ache - on it and need to wait for it to dry so the colours blend (dry top pic, wet bottom pic) before I stitch it, or do anything else on it! perhaps tomorrow morning.....

Monday, 15 March 2010

Happy Birthday E

A birthday party for N03 today, cake, crisps and sandwiches. Perfect for Monday lunch! The chap is 3 and the oldest in our 'baby group' the youngest will be 2 next week! he's also the only chap! not that he realises yet.... cake was good and similar to this one.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

They're back

*photo to come!*

When we were driving early on Saturday morning I spotted the second chimney of storks this season, circling and moving on to Europe for the summer - unfortunately I couldn't stop to take a picture... it will come when they next come! The way they fly is stunning, it's great to be on the migration path for these beauties! it also means that the blossom isn't just a tease and spring is on the cusp. The peach tree is fat with flower buds.... I love peach blossom!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Rusya Eğitim, Kültür ve İşbirliği Derneği

We went to the Goodbye to Winter, Hello to Spring 'performance' at one of the cultural centers. Being Russian, even the smallest little person was encouraged to get on stage with a microphone and perform.... it was interesting to say the least, those who can't speak Russian can follow - even the slightly over the top 'clown' and the seriously over the top Winter and Summer ladies - who were the compares, summer is featured here - made it entertaining for adults. T1 and her rhythmic gymnastic group performed, more than half of the 18 girls are at least half Russian as well as the coach - she loves it and performed well - it was the first time they were on stage as a group, complete with fancy imported Russian rhythmic gymnastic leotards..... it's all taken very seriously. In return for a great performance she was given a very large bag of candy which caused riots with the other littles..... We then decamped with some of the girls and their parents and siblings to one of the malls where they ran around and ate lunch.... quite a good idea....

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Excited about sardines

I don't think I am one of those folks who waxes on about how much better things are 'back in xxxx' - insert a country of your choice. But.... there is always a but.... I haven't figured out why I can't get good sardines in Turkey, perhaps it's time for a 'State of the Sardines survey', - or is that plain silly? This week, by chance, I got my hands on a FREE can of sardines thanks to the Philippine Embassy - oh they were good, being free they tasted even better. I mashed them up a bit and 'spread' them on toast (I ate them too quickly to photograph!) I love the illustration from the can, somehow it makes the humble sardine look like a whole salmon. They were good - did I say that?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Great big pile of fluff

I've been working on another skirt, this one white.... like the pink one.... but a little longer - I gathered together some of the pink 'offcuts' and made a hair thingie, only problem is finding a suitable - and small - clip for the back, it's just 3 inches across so I need the little people size.... more hunting....

Monday, 8 March 2010


Another Oya edged scarf from my 'collection' this oya is said to be 'antique' though I have no way of checking.... it's neatly made, the colours are less harsh than 'new stuff' - the scarf however is odd, I can't figure if it's an odd quality of polyester or old.

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