Tuesday, 13 December 2011

A bit nutty

Almond and apricot cookies - yummy!!

Quite squidgy on the inside, with a crunch on the outside - delicious. Really good with a hot cup of coffee from the espresso machine - perfect to warm you up on a winter's day.

Ideal for chomping on while panicking about what to get your loved ones for Christmas. I'm amazingly unprepared and lacking any creativity or imagination when it comes to gifts this year - I'm so worried about the house that Christmas has sadly taken a back seat. I will be making some yummy treats for everyone's parcels closer to the big day, but for main presents I normally have some fresh and different ideas. This year, socks all round....

To cheer us up for Christmas, the estate agents want an exorbitant amount of money just for doing a credit check. They want to charge the two of us about 150 times the cost of doing the check - even the bad men at the bank do it for free, but no, we have to wipe out our Christmas budget just for a bit of paper. Merry Bloomin' Christmas, Mr Estate Agent!

Oh, and because they don't know that Christmas is going on in the background, they didn't mind asking us yesterday if we could move into our potetial new home before the 25th December. Let me think.... That would be a no.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Big quilt

The day has come - I've finally finished the Big Quilt!

It's for my colleague's sister's 21st birthday. It's taken about 3 months to complete. She wanted detail of handbags, cherries, cupcakes, birds, and lots of colours. Quite feminine, hence lots of red and pink, without being too girly.

I used several different fabrics for the binding - mainly because I didn't have enough of one fabric to do it all the same. The cupcakes worked really well on the binding.

I found it challenging working on such a big quilt, having done so many small projects lately. The last big one I did was all by hand, and I was living in my flat which had lots of space to spread out. For this one, I had to use the spare room, and laid out flat the quilt took up all of the floor space!! It made pinning very tricky, and I'm sure the backing isn't as smooth as it could be for that reason.

I couldn't do any quilting through all the layers though, which I was disappointed about. The quilt was just too big for me to manoeuvre around my sewing machine - especially as the wadding I used was quick thick. I tried to quilt by hand but ditto the problems of thickness again. I bought a sewing loop hoop recently, but again, the wadding was too thick to use that with it! Lessons learned for next time however.

My colleague was really pleased with it, and has already asked me to make one for herself in the new year. She wants some castle fabric if possible, but I'm having trouble finding any.

I always get a little sad when I have to say goodbye to one of my quilts.... it was even sadder for such a large quilt. A lot of time and effort goes into making things for other people. Sometimes it would be nice if someone spent so much time and effort on me.

Monday, 5 December 2011

All I want for Christmas... is a KitchenAid mixer!

...and somewhere to live please!

Sorry I've been quiet for a while. Our landlord is having a baby, and subsequently he wants to sell our house - so we have to find somewhere new to live. We've got until March 1, 2012 - which was generous of him, as he could have just given us a month's notice. But with Christmas and all, timing isn't great.... To say I'm panicked is somewhat of an understatement.

We were getting really settled here so it's such a shame - we only just put some shelves and photos up, and it was really feeling like home. We knew it wasn't forever but it suited us for now.

Now I feel rushed and scared. I'm checking for new properties every day, but there's never much property movement during December - obviously, no one wants to be moving house at Christmas (ditto!). We viewed a lovely barn conversion last week, but it wasn't practical - the landlord wanted to keep all her furniture and belongings in there, so basically it would suit someone who's just left home, without any personal stuff to clutter up the space. We couldn't be further from that! Especially with all my quilting garb!

On top of asking Father Christmas for a new home, I'd also like a wooden chopping board, some socks, and a food mixer.

It's available here, Father Christmas, in case your elves can't quite manage it!!