Saturday, August 30
I'm very pleased with the results and can't wait to see Chloe running around in the sun in it.
I may put some in the shop when we return.
Friday, August 29
I've been to Paris twice - once when there was ice and inch thick on the fountains and once when I had to buy a new outfit because it was so warm. The first time we visited we were on a very strict budget and we cooked chick pea stew in the hostel. I was fairly ignorant anyway and didn't realise what we were missing foodwise. We did buy mulled wine and piping hot dishes of creamy scalloped potatoes (not sure what the proper name is) and baguettes with warm ham and mustard at the Christmas markets and wandered around happily scoffing them.
The second time we had a bit more cash and I was happy to spend it on fruit tarts, baguettes, short blacks and nougat. One thing I regret was not sampling any macaroons. This time I'm planning a visit to Laduree or Pierre Herme. It's a given that I'll be choosing chocolate but maybe I'll be allowed a second and that will be when it gets difficult. Framboise, orange, cafe, pistache, licorice, mandarin???. Not foie gras though - definitely not! I've just been cruising flikr for macaroon shots and saw several with foie gras. I think you'd have to be French to want those ones.
On that visit I remember thinking I wouldn't really get into French food (apart from the cakes of course). I was completely and utterly wrong. We were taken out for a meal in Paris by a friend of Sam's father and it was amazing. After that I wanted to try everything I could. Luckily we were cycling and some of the eating was offset by riding. This time I may well have to go on a serious diet when we get back.
Can you tell I'm getting excited?
I have a bunch of ideas for some clothes I want to make for Chloe for her first overseas trip. It's less than two weeks until we leave now - I think I may be being overly optimistic. I did make a sweet top for her that I'm thrilled with. I'll post a photo tomorrow.
Sunday, August 24
1. the hobbit, 2. The Hobbit Book
Or at least one of the many. I loved being taken away to another world. I loved the illustrations and the idea that there was so much history in middle earth. I loved the mysterious rune writing and the idea if setting off to travel on a big adventure.
Nowadays, the thing I read most is travel writing. I like Colin Thubron, William Dalrymple and Bruce Chatwin among others. People who write about places that are a bit mysterious to me and that I will most likely never visit - not that different to reading The Hobbit as a child.
Well, there you go! "This is" is a thing I signed up to a few weeks ago at Three Buttons and hadn't got around to doing until now. Quite fun really!
1. paris carousel, 2. Tuileries Garden, Paris (le bassin rond), 3. Village perché, 4. Simply Lapopie, 5. Dordogne river, 6. Confiserie-patisserie (Paris), 7. Paris: Palais Royal, 8. Paris: Montmartre steps
We're heading off for a month of warmth (hopefully), yummy food, relaxation and stunning sights.
I picture picnics in parks or by rivers. Fresh baguettes with a different cheese every day. Red wine. Many patisserie visits. Moving around the country slowly soaking up the warmth and atmosphere.
For Black Eyed Susie, I hope to manage a bit of fabric shopping along the way and to come back rejuvenated (at least after the jetlag!) and inspired, bursting to produce new designs.
I need to brush up on some French and not allow myself any cakes until we leave (to make up for all the ones I know I'll eat when we get there). We spent four weeks cycling in France about 4 years ago and, even then, I think I managed to put on weight.
I'll be shutting up shop next Monday (1st september). Any orders received before then will go out in the usual 3 business days.
If anyone has any tips for long haul flight with a toddler survival please, please, please tell me them!
Edited to add - You can tell I've finished my work backlog by the blog fiddling I've been doing. Is it better or worse? What do you think?
Thursday, August 21
This morning I found out that Black Eyed Susie has been nominated for an Australian handmade childrens' clothing challenge over at Aussie Kids Boutique.
The item that was nominated was my Katie Jump Rope Halter top and I have to say it's really one of my favourite items - perhaps because it looks so perfect on Chloe. I love the colour contrast too. Go take a look at the other nominations if you like and you can vote for a winner tomorrow.
Also, Jen left a comment a few days ago letting me know that if you look very closely in this months issue of Shop 4 Kids there are a couple of my items pictured! It's an article about the great things for kids at Made It and even though the pictures are very small and you'd only know they were mine if you were familiar with them I was very, very excited. My first glossy magazine appearance! (I'm still waiting to see the Studio Bambini picture in the flesh.) Thanks Jen!!
Wednesday, August 20
Tuesday, August 19
Sam gave me some great laptop speakers for my birthday (way back in early June). All this time I've been thinking that it's a shame they don't play very loud. The other day they suddenly got really quiet and I was telling Sam he'd have to take them back to the shop. Later we realised Chloe had found the volume control that we somehow couldn't find and turned them down. I'm so glad I didn't waltz into the shop saying "You've sold us a lemon!"
Now I'm having a great time playing loud music while I sew. At the moment I can't move past Beck's new album Modern Guilt and Jose Gonzalez' album Veneer. Beck makes me sew faster and Jose Gonzalez makes me relax - perfect combination.
Friday, August 15
If you guys could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address I'll send them off on there way to you.
Wednesday, August 13
Chloe and I have been baking again. Or at least I've been baking and Chloe has been rubbing flour into the cracks between the floorboards. We made some cheese biscuits in little star shapes and they were a huge hit with Chloe. She normally refuses anything involving cheese (I do remember Sam and I having the somewhat deluded idea that we'd have a child who would even like olives - oh, how wrong we were she lives on peas, corn, beans, pasta, fish patties and chicken).
100g plain flour
50g cheddar grated
1 egg beaten
Preheat oven to 200 degreed C. Rub the butter into the flour then mix in the grated cheese. Mix in the beaten egg - you may have to use your hands for this. Roll out, using plenty of extra flour (all the better to make a mess with) and cut into shapes.
Our stars were very small and about 4mm thick and took just under 10 minutes to cook. So keep an eye on yours.
This is an incredibly simple recipe and whilst, not particularily healthy, I think we'll make them fairly often. Chloe enjoyed cutting out the stars and the finished product made me want to rush out and buy more cookie cutters. I may try using parmesan and cracked pepper for a grown up snack.
Tuesday, August 12
Sam and I spent our first night away from Chloe on Saturday. I must admit I felt very strange to be without her. We didn't go far. Just to a historic farmstead called Brickendon about half an hour (or less) away. We had a tiny one bedroom cottage with an open fire, we made ourselves a picnic for dinner and drank merlot in front of the fire then slept in until 9.30. Ah, remember the days when a 9.30 rise was fairly normal for the weekend!
Chloe had a great time with her grandparents but was very unhappy after we returned. She cried and cried and didn't want anybody near her but me. I felt terrible about how vulnerable she must have been feeling.
We went to see Playschool live this morning and Chloe was so, so excited it was amazing. I've never seen her like it before. She still wanted to be on me the whole time and I'm exhausted. I was pummelled, trodden on, shoved and bashed for the entire hour. Crazy. Nice to see her so happy though. She said "happy, happy, happy."