No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better...

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Hello everybody,

It's sweltering here.  It's 6.15am and already its 24C, and will go up to a high of 34C today, and 38C tomorrow.  We have the odd thunder storm, but all it does is make things more humid.  I'm not complaining.  My Mum tells me that the UK has forgotten all about summer this year, so I get that this might not be what you want to be hearing right now.

So, I thought I'd tell you instead about Rain.  Rain Africa is a shop in the Rockefeller Center that sells exquisite handcrafts and beauty products made by small rural factories in Africa.  Ethically traded, organic and environmentally friendly, it's a refreshing change from some of the tourist tat of nearby Times Square.  It's also stupidly expensive (sigh).  They had the most amazing crochet granny square blanket the last time I went in, and I thought to myself "I can make that." (If only I'd just get on and do it. ...)

But I couldn't leave behind the wool box, which seemed to be calling my name.  I have my (very small) stash neatly arranged inside.

(Yes, as you can see, I've only progressed a little with my own granny square business.)

And I have that lovely Alpaca red and grey wool that I blogged about here, to try to make this scarf if and when I learn chevron.

At the moment the box of sheep is shoved on top of a wardrobe so that I'm not reminded on a daily basis how slack I'm being in the craft department.  Somehow the thought of making a wooly scarf in 30C heat isn't doing it for me.  And my head is FULL of house and building work and decorating and travel plans and stories that I want to write.

I guess this is all a long winded way of saying that I'm feeling a bit of a fraud at the moment even having a crafty blog when I'm not doing any crafting.  I haven't written as much here lately as a result.  And that's a bit crap.



Friday, July 15, 2011


I have exchanged contracts.  The constellation of bank, solicitor, vendor, vendor's solicitor all aligned and we finally have a commitment to buy the little old lady's house by the sea.  Excellent.

We'll be in England for a couple of weeks in August, so we'll complete then.  So excited.

And maybe a bit scared.  This is my first grown up, proper house.  With a garden and everything.  And it will be lovely, I know.

But first we have to get the builders in.  New central heating system, new bathrooms, an extension.  Lots of ripping out and knocking down.  But still, a house by the sea....

So, would you like a peek?  I need to do a whole lot of before and after shots (and posts...) but for now, I thought the kitchen best sums up the order of things....

Watch this space.  By the end of the year, it will be shiny and new.  Something to celebrate.

(And besides, I thought you'd like to see my 4 July photos, even if they're a bit late...)

Hope you all have a lovely weekend.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Where does the time go?

It's now mid-July (well, nearly...) and I haven't even shown you a mosaic for May!  I really need to give myself a shake.  To make up for it, I thought I'd do a bumper one for May and June, with a promise to do better in July.

Hope you like it.  And welcome welcome to new followers.  Lovely to have you here.  And thanks for all your lovely comments on my last post.  I knew you'd like the quilts too.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Quilting for a cause

Hello everybody.

A lovely long and lazy weekend here - 4th July which means a day off.  Hurray!  We were also given early release from work on Friday.  (Lots of prison-like associations with that phrasing, I know.)  Anyway, I walked home, which gave me a chance to take in the windows of Saks and Anthropologie at a dawdling pace instead of whizzing past them on the bus.  In the bizarre world of fashion, it is winter, which means that the mannequins in Saks are all bundled up in woollen coats and cashmere jumpers.  Lovely, but a bit mad in 80 degree heat.  Apparently, there are women in the world who shop like this.  Personally, I need to feel the early morning chill of Autumn before i can think of the need for fingerless long wool gloves.  (The Saks mannequins tell me they will be big next season - you heard it here first.)

Saks had also devoted a whole line of windows to The Names Project.

I had a vague impression of this that I'd picked up from somewhere, but it's a powerful thing to see these displayed in a line together.  There's so much love and emotion packed into each one.

And they so vividly bring to life the people they commemorate.

So much life and loss and heartache behind each panel.

(I have sat for awhile wondering whether it's too insensitive a transition to go on from here to chatter on about Anthropologie.  But the truth is that it made me so happy to study their window too.  So much creativity and humour was just the kind of life affirming injection I needed.  Apologies to anyone who finds the remainder of the post in bad taste...)

So, to Anthropologie.  I find their window displays endlessly fascinating.

Who would think to clutter up a window with bubbles?  And yet it works.  And I just love the use of these old slides as the backdrop to a single outfit in the corner of this window.   How fab is that?!

Each slide offering its own tiny slice of life....

There's so much care and attention to detail that goes into these window displays.  But it's not often that I get to see it happen as I did on Friday.

Simple yet effective.

More creative food inside.  There isn't a single plate here that I'm not coveting...

And owls are definitely the bird of the moment.  They were everywhere.

I managed not to buy anything.  But lots of food for mind and soul.  All on the way home from work.

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