Friday, July 28, 2006

Loose cover frustration

I am making a loose cover for a client of a client...and it's driving me insane.
I think it would be easier to cover a camel.
My friend Heather (she of incredible sewing talents) said it would be hard around the seam where the inner arm tributary meets all the other rivers. Boy was she right.
This is what the old one looks like on its original sofa...a whopper.

The new one looks like a mess 'o' crumpled linen, on our tiddly couch.
I'm determined to make it work though.
The clients are however away on holiday at the moment so it may take ages to put me out of my misery. (& to get paid.)

To calm my anxieties I made a Raspbery Cheesecake.....mmmmmmmmm.



closer still...

now lick the screen..

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Snetterton lake.

It's been so hot here lately. It's a lot like an Australian summer. All the gardens are parched & the air smells of dry grass. Lovely in the mornings but boiling as the sun comes round to our back windows.
Richard & I often play a game here of making up stories with characters who have names of villages we pass. For ages one of our favourite mean & nasty characters has been "Snetterton", a lot like Snape out of Harry Potter. Our friends Robyn & Rob live there. Zebedy's Great Uncle & Aunt.
They live in a gorgeous old restored barn. There is a beautiful little lake near them where we went for a swim There are dragonflies & mayflies & swallows swooping down to the water (mind you not all the wildlife is benevolent, I'm suffering badly from horse fly bites). Robyn's Dad, Dr Palmer came too & Robyn's son Tom. here they all are on the bridge above the stream.
An idyllic scene at the lake & so wonderful to be instantly cool.

The pictures of us in the wheat field are for Sue Thomas who loves wheat & lambs & countryside of any sort really. Wish she was here, my lovely sis.

Clever Roxi

Roxi sent us this that she's put together. Clever huh?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Miracle Man

Zebedy Garnet Man is alive & well & wriggling at Luton & Dunstable hospital, here in the UK.
We went to visit them & took fresh provisions to keep that hospital food at bay. (All that mystery meat is no good for new mothers).
Clarissa is teary & easily moved. Aren't we all at this early stage.
Sorry these photos are so hard to read. He's so small all you can see are the tubes that are keeping him alive, and he's all red from a blood transfusion.
We didn't get to see him but Clarissa & Joe took these for me in the premature baby ward.

Here is a lovely one of them walking back to the maternity ward after seeing Zebedy, full of love.

Clarissa is going to make the best mother you could ever wish for, already she's like a lioness, willing to kill for her boy.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Zebedy Man

In my posts I have often talked about my darling friends Clarissa and Joe.
Clarissa has been such a good buddy to me here in the backwaters of Norfolk. She's a costume designer for the BBC. She has fabulous taste in everything & looks a lot like Sophie Dahl. She can sew & cook like a proffessional, and has the best sense of humour I've ever come across.
Clarissa went into hospital last Friday when her waters broke. She was 23 weeks pregnant.
Baby Zebedy Man weighs 1 pound, but is alive & doing OK at Luton & Dunstable hospital. We are going to visit them today. I don't think we'll be able to see him, but I just want to enfold Clarissa and try & lift her up. She's had such a hard hard time.
If everyone who reads this could leave some message of support for her, she may get them when she reads this at some stage. A little prayer or a message of some kind would be so gratefully received.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Big smoke

Yesterday, the hottest July day on record 36.6C (97.3F). When "the Lions at Colchester zoo Essex were treated to blood flavoured ice blocks." from the Times online
What did I do? Sit under a tree reading a book? Swim in the river? Work here with the curtains drawn? No dear reader, I went to the big smoke, London, with my friend Heather.
We had booked it ages ago, & even though it was hot, it was bloody great too.
We started off at the Chelsea Physic garden a secret oasis of green in a tarmack-ed desert. I found these words of Rudyard Kipling in ‘The Glory of the Garden’. "Our England is a garden and such gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade". There were at least 5 gardeners all on their hands & knees digging, weeding & planting, in unbearable heat. Everything looked very hot & droopy. (Just like we felt). There are plants here that no longer grow in the wild & are rare even in cultivation. This photo of Sir Hans Sloane (of Sloane Square fame) from their website
We made our way at once to the Tangerine Tea department and sat under a shady tree to eat a really splendid repast, with home made lemonade (the real thing Kelly).
As I sat looking around and recovering with my bare feet twiddling in the grass, I spied a good old Aussie gum tree, I wanted to hug it but restrained myself & took it's picture instead. We didn't get as much time as we would have wanted because we had lots to do. I did get to see these amazing seed pods. I think they're from a Peony. They look like that rarest of plants "Vagina Dentata" to me.
After we left the garden we walked on towards Chelsea design center and saw this amazing bathroom showroom with its 'bath with port hole'. Perfect for the boat!!! (Not sure if my cellulite could withstand it though).
The walk was a long one, much further than we thought but took us past Chelsea Bridge, a beauty that looks like a childs idea of a fary tale bridge, all pink & blue & white. Also past this beautiful house & doorway near Cheyne walk where Mick Jagger, George Elliot & Dante GabrielleRossetti used to live.
Chelsea Design center might have to have it's own blog but afterwards we caught a water taxi back to Blackfriars & never was it more of a relief to sit in the wind & spray of a boat with the thrum of the engine massaging our hot feet. Here are some views of the mighty river Thames: Muddy but cool. See all those red double decker buses waiting patiently in an orderly English queue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Little Punjab

For ages & ages Clarissa has been telling me to go to Southall in West London. She says it's just like India.
On the weekend after waking up in a wheat field somewhere in Suffolk we headed off to Southall to pick up my NEW sewing machine (well new to me that is).
WOW. I haven't been to India but Richard has, he said it was just the same, but without the cows walking through the streets.
An amazing array of people. All the Indian women looking absolutely gorgeous in sarees of every hue. Us whities looked really boring in comparison. We bought a box of Mangoes for £2.50 (that's 6 for the price of one here in sleepy old whitey Norfolk.) As we walked & stared we ate pistachio kulfi (icecream). We stopped at a cafe for samosas & chai tea. I didn't take many photo's, I was too overwhelmed by it all, but here are a few from Inglia at Flickr
Here's one of Richard though looking a little tired (after sleeping on a lilo all night & then driving for 3 hours to London), at the lunch cafe. The shop behind him must have had 300 pairs of shoes tipped out on the floor as they searched for the right size for a very tall Indian boy who was buying his wedding outfit.

And last but not least here is a photo of my new Singer Walking foot sewing machine that sews through layers of curtaining like it's warm butter. I know it's not much to look at but it's all mine.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wyken anniversary dinner

We went out to Wyken for dinner. It's a rare event for us to go out somewhere proper for dinner & boy it makes it such a special thing. We decided to stay overnight in the back of the van. It was the most beautiful warm moonlit night. Here we are arriving......(couldn't get us both in the picture so you'll just have to pretend we have or arms around each other. The sun was low too, thus the squinting)....I so rarely get to wear this dress I made & love.
The meal was a sensation. Best food I've had here in the UK so far (that's not saying much though I know!!) I had roasted sea bass with salsa verde mmmm Richard had the best dessert though...a lemon verbena panna cotta with local strawberries & a brandy snap. What is a panna cotta anyway? Is it the modern version of the bavarois?
The next day we woke up early in a field of wheat.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cushions of the last

Hi all.
At long last I bring you cushions of the week. I made them for a shop in North Norfolk, UK called 'Papillon', thus the butterflies. This gorgeous pom pom fringe is my favourite at the moment. Comes from Handsome trimmings.
The chinoiserie fabric is an old, old piece of Liberty Tana Lawn that a friend gave me ages ago. A beautiful & unusual combination of colours. I've also made a lampshade out of it.
You can see the bunch of 40 white freesias my Mum just sent us for our 3rd wedding anniversary. Thanks Doro (&Thomsey for organising it all). xxxxxxxxxx