Been away to Brighton

I’ve been away for a much needed and appreciated break. We drove down to the South East, where we haven’t really been before, and stayed in a pleasant hotel near Guildford. Because we were only having one full day away I made sure to extend our mini-holiday by going via Windsor for a little bit of sight-seeing and a spot of lunch.

Windsor castle

The weather was perfect for wandering around but we didn’t have time to do the full tourist thing and visit the castle. We did cross over the river by some very hungry swans and geese before walking towards Eton. I actually preferred this part of Windsor as it seemed more realistic with the cute little wobbly houses and fascinating antique shops.

What is it about wrought iron gates that go through to gardens? They're always fascinating and you see so many artworks based on them.










After relaxing with a glass of wine on Friday night we took a trip to Brighton on Saturday for a little day out. It was lovely to spend time somewhere different and we loved the little alleyways and funky shops of Brighton. We couldn’t stay for long so didn’t get time for much shopping or to go around the pavilion but we did have a lovely walk along the front where we saw the weather change minute by minute.

I've never seen British seas looking kind of turquoise! If the sun was out you could almost mistake this scene for Miami!

I took a series of photographs of the burnt out pier:










And I found lots of interesting textures and patterns to photograph as well.










Does anyone else take photographs of lamp posts just because of the pattern on them? I love to see little twiddly bits of decoration but my husband does keep crashing into me as I suddenly stop in the middle of the street and dive into my bag for a camera!






One last photo of the pavilion:

*sigh* Can I go away again?

Swap – Handbag Charms

I’ve taken part in another fun and funky swap as part of the online Yahoo Group Cloth Paper Studio. This time we were swapping handbag/purse charms. I used to make and sell these so I thought it would be fun to create some charms and see what I get in return.

I forgot to take a photograph before sending them (as I always do!) so the hostess Sue K thankfully took this image for me and posted it online. I picked a different colour theme for each charm and then just added on little charms and bits and pieces.

And here are the charms that I received in return. They’re so different! From the left: Cherie sent a charm with lots of metal on it – an interesting  filigree panel, a winged heart, draping chains etc.; Sue K’s charm included a real mixture of things including a flower set in resin; as for Meri, well! She piled everything on to her charm! Hiding in amongst the other charms is a metal tag that says ‘celebrate’. I love positive messages that can be seen regularly.

I now need to decide which bags to put them on 🙂

Baking – umm, rustic crumble pie?

Anyone who has seen my baking knows that it’s not exactly elegant – or done according to a recipe – but it normally tastes pretty good. Well, I’ve invented something new – the purumble … rupimble … cristie? Basically a rustic crumble pie. As they always say “necessity is the mother of invention” and I had some pre-rolled pastry which really, really needed using up. It being pre-rolled and shop-bought I didn’t what to waste a single crumb, but I also didn’t want to re-roll it (like I said, I’m not that great at cooking). So after the first crumble pie I started to patchwork the left-over pieces together with the following results:

Trio of purumbles

A trio of purumbles - note the pastry getting more patchwork as I ended up with smaller and smaller pieces!

Rustic purumble

I had this one for supper tonight and it was very yummy 🙂

Yes, it’s not pretty but I don’t care! I didn’t waste anything and that makes me happy 🙂

Late again – Colette Patterns Sorbetto top

As always seems to happen, just as the weather turns cold and the leaves start falling trees I finish sewing a summery top! This was a free pattern from Colette patterns. The top is called Sorbetto and it’s a fastening-free blouse with bound armholes and neckline.

I’m always nervous about tops without fastenings as they can be difficult to get on or they swamp me and I look like I’m wearing a sack. Surprisingly this top actually fits me pretty well. It slips on easily and doesn’t look ridiculously large on although I think I would create a bit of shaping through the waistline and hips if I made it again. I’m quite curvy on my bottom half so I’m glad that I graded out to the next size up towards the hips and also made it in tiny bit shorter than the pattern. That shortening was purely because I didn’t have enough material to do it any other way and still keep the patterned band at the bottom.

Colette Patterns Sorbetto top

The fabric is actually quite light so I’m wearing a red vest top underneath and that’s what you can see peeking out from the bottom of the gold band. Also, there isn’t a big crease down the front but there’s a stitched pleat to give it a bit of interest – click on the image to enlarge if you want to see it better.

The instructions for this top were great and it went together very easily, despite my chiffon-y fabric wanting to fray every time I looked at it. It’s definitely a top that I will make again in a different fabric.