30 January 2012

Feasting & friendships

Hello there!
Hope you have had a good weekend & your week has started off well. I had a lovely weekend which started with a wonderful birthday tea prepared by Hannah. Our 13 year old was in charge of photos, so he took lots of this: 
Its a patchwork pincushion cake - isn't it incredible?
I love the buttons...
Underneath it was the most gorgeous carrot cake (which sadly didn't last too long!) Thanks so much to the super-talented Ben from Contemporary Cakes
On Saturday I managed to squeeze in a wee bit of sewing for that crazy mouthy stitches lot! I really want to make something special for my partner, so I came up with this as a first attempt...
I love curved pouches & my partner said they would like a flat-bottomed one - so I'm hoping she will like this design....
I just had enough time on Sunday to finish this wee house before we went off to some lovely friends for lunch
They always make us feel so welcome.... so hopefully this wee gift is an appropriate way to say thankyou ML & A for a very special friendship
Speaking of friendships I have got something special lined up for February.... so if you have a moment, drop by on Wednesday to hear more....
Hope you have a great day!
Take care

26 January 2012

Resolved to sew 2012

Hello there!
I hope you are having a good week. There's so much going on at the moment its hard to believe we're not even at the end of January yet! If you're in the Mouthy Stitches Swap you will know the mad flickr stalking is well & truly underway! I've got a few ideas - I just have to pull them all together... Meanwhile the Swoon Along crew are producing some wonderful blocks which you can peek at (enviously) here. This is one of my favourites from the super talented Megan:
Have you heard about the incredible Resolved To Sew Giveaway Ali at Very Berry Handmade is hosting. There are 11 amazing goodie packs up for grabs including gorgeous fabric bundles like this little lot:
Or this:
Just click here to get the details of how to enter, but be quick... the giveaway closes at 12MN tonight!
I'm off now to enter & then try & get a bit more of this done, which I'm resolved to finish before the end of January...
See you soon!

23 January 2012

{no sew} Sunday

Hello there!
Hope you had a great weekend! Although Saturdays in the Hamilton household are completely crazy, our Sundays always follow the same format....
Rowing run with Angus (he's the first one facing you)
Church & then Sunday lunch:
Yummy deserts:
A visit from granny & grandpa (& seriously competitive game of Chinese Checkers!!)
Persuading Hannah to do some revision (or is she on facebook????)
Selecting a nice bottle of wine
And chilling out.....
If you like the look of the desert, its called Eton Mess... its super quick & easy to make & super delicious....

250 mls whipping cream
50g meringue nests/ meringues
250g strawberries 
  1. Whip the cream to a soft peak stage (not too much as it thickens when you get to step 2)
  2. Crumble the meringue into approx 1/2" chunks (not too fine or it will disappear) & fold into the cream
  3. Hull the strawberries, set aside some for decoration & mash the rest slightly with a fork & fold into the cream mixture
  4. Spoon into individual glasses / glass bowl & decorate with remaining strawberries
  5. Serve relatively soon as the meringue will start to disintegrate
That's it! You can substitute the strawberries for whatever soft fruit you fancy....my favourite is raspberries & a wee sprinkling of grated dark chocolate.....mmmm
Hope you all have a great week!
Take care

21 January 2012

Car Seat Cozy

Hello there!
Have you been having a good week? Its been hectic here, but great all at the same time.... I finished this wee car seat cozy for little baby Caleb who arrived safe & sound a couple of weeks ago:
He's a very precious baby to some dear friends of ours. I used some Denise Schmidt fabric....
The cozy has a lovely soft fleece backing & I didn't want to spoil the coziness, so I only quilted about every 2" or so...
So welcome little Caleb - hope this keeps you warm & cozy!
I hope you all have a great weekend... I'm nervously awaiting news from the mouthy stitches mamas &, in between drop-offs & pick-ups, hopefully McGinty & I will get a chance for another beach walk
Have a lovely weekend & if you get a chance, listen to those birds sing!
Take care

15 January 2012

Swappy Shindigs!

Hello there!
How has your weekend been? While the boys in our house were busy yesterday morning at rugby & rowing, I had a lovely time sewing away in my wee corner listening to Coldplay...it was wonderful! Hopefully I'll get the projects finished tomorrow so I'll have something to show you then.
We're only two weeks into January & I was wondering, how many of you have signed up for a swap or a quilt along? There are some great ones like the Swoon Along or the Sew Red Blog Hop. The first swap for me this year is going to be Mouthy Stitches which is going to be great craic! The theme is for a zipped pouch & there are 90 of us poised & ready, just waiting to hear who are partners are! Here is my inspiration mosaic:
1. This is my sew mama sew giveaway happening on Monday keep an eye out for the blog post, 2. My niece's pencil case, 3. Swap Clutch Side View, 4. needle case, 5. Finished w.i.p, 6. finished pouch, 7. Pillow Swap sent, 8. Mitty Owl Clutch purse pattern available for sell now., 9. My 3 Houses on a Hill Pouch, 10. Brit Swap Pillow 1..., 11. PLPSRnd 3 (16), 12. Love Birds Make Up Bag, 13. PLPS Crosses pouch inside, 14. Curvey pair, 15. Pencil case for my daughter, 16. imagesCANSR5HY
Last year I really enjoyed taking part in some swaps & here are some of the gorgeous pouches I was lucky enough to receive:
From Kelly
From Christine
I love swaps - they're great fun & such a wonderful way to meet folk. Its so nice too to have something that someone has made, just for you... like this table runner I got this week from my Sew Happy Geek Table Runner swap partner:
From Linda

Doesn't it look perfect on our kitchen table!
We'll I'm off now to stitch some hexies & watch some Sunday night TV with the rest of the Hamilton household...Hope you all have a lovely evening!
Take care

12 January 2012

Stitching. for. good.

Hello there!
I hope you have been having a great week... here on the North Coast I have been totally & utterly distracted by the tempting technology out there & have succumbed to the evils of both pinterest & facebook! Do drop in & say hello, but be careful.... they may seem harmless enough, but they are COMPLETELY ADDICTIVE & should carry serious health warnings!!
Despite all these distractions, I'm so delighted to say that one thing I have managed to do this week is to start the new CARE circle of do. Good Stitches with help from some lovely quilty folk around the world. Some of you may be familiar with do. Good Stitches, but for those of you who aren't, this is a charitable, modern quilting bee which aims to make beautiful quilts for people in need. It is the brainchild of the incredibly talented Rachel Hauser from stitched in color & there are now 150 amazing sewers from 15 individual do. Good Stitches bees who each month make a quilt for their designated charity. Wow! You are all amazing! 
Our new CARE circle is going to be such fun & includes: Dolores (a-labour-of-love), Kat (mummastimetocreate), Kylie (three-honeybees), Bronica (nutterbug), Lucy (Lucy Fleur), Annabella (Life's Rich Pattern), Cindy (fluffysheepquilting), Leanne (daisyandjack) & Kristin (kristin). For our first quilt we are making starflowers in red & aqua & they are such a happy block to make...
If you have a moment, do drop by any of the CARE circle ladies & say hello...they would love to meet you!
I'm off now to try to make my mosaic for three zippy ladies (!!), but in the meantime I'll leave you with a wee photo taken outside my parents house the other night....
Thanks for stopping by!

9 January 2012

And the winner is......

Hello there!
Did you have a good weekend? Mine consisted of cleaning & cooking, cleaning & more cooking & cleaning.....ah, the joys of having teenagers! But on to more important things like the Sweetwater giveaway.... So last night Mr Random.Org did his thing (which was a bit complicated as I gave another number to each follower if you know what I mean...) Anyway, the winner is number 2 Leanne from she can quilt So congratulations Leanne! Could you please drop me a wee email with your address so I can get this off to you to-day, thanks.
If you entered, thanks so much for all your comments, they were so interesting & have given me lots of ideas of things that we could maybe tackle together in 2012! Don't forget you will have another chance in February's amazing giveaway which has been generously donated....but you'll have to wait another week or two!
In the meantime I thought I'd share with you a recipe for a favourite in our house which I made over the weekend....Its called Cranberry Crunch. It's delicious, healthy, inexpensive & easy to make....what could be better!
2 cups Porridge Oats
1tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup (firmly packed) Brown Sugar
3tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Honey
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds (or chopped hazelnuts)
1/2 cup Pumpkin / Sesame Seeds (or any other seeds you fancy)
1/2 cup Raisins (or chopped apricots/dates/dried cherries)
1/2 Cup Cranberries

  1. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. 
  2. In a large bowl mix the oil, honey,vanilla, cinnamon & salt. 
  3. Add porridge oats & sugar & mix well.
  4. Tip the mixture onto two a baking sheet & spread evenly. Bake for 10 mins, then mix to ensure even cooking
  5. Bake for another 10mins, stir & add almonds & seeds. Bake for another 10mins or until golden brown
  6. Remove from oven, stir again &set aside to cool. Once cool mix in raisins & cranberries (or other dried fruit). Store in an airtight container for up to 1month
  7. Enjoy whenever you feel peckish with cold milk or yogurt!
Hope you all have a great day & thanks for stopping by!
Take care

5 January 2012

Start as you mean to go on!

Hello there!
Hope you are all doing well... here on the North Coast we have been battered & blown by winter storms....the other morning we woke up with a 10ft tree at the bottom of the garden & we've no idea where it came from!! At least we fared a little better than our neighbour who's garage roof blew off!
I've also been catching up with all the comings & goings in blogland. One thing I've noticed are all the plans & resolutions everyone is making. I'm absolutely awful at sticking to my New Years Resolutions, but I've come up with with something which I fully intend to stick to... So this year, each month I am going to host a giveaway for you all. Now they may not be as wonderful as some of the incredible giveaways that we have all entered, but each one I hope will be special & appropriate for the month they are set in.. So here is January's giveaway...
Its a pack to make a patchwork notebook or diary cover. The pack contains small fabric squares (approx 1.5") from Sweetwater's gorgeous Hometown or Reunion fabric and will cover a notebook or diary measuring up to 8.5" x 11". There is also a label for you to put on too if you would like to...
The photos are taken from the Sweetwater blog, but I'm going to make one too in the Reunion fabric (one of my favourite fabric lines).
To enter the giveaway I would love you to tell me:
If you could pick only one new sewing project/technique you would like to accomplish in 2012 what would it be?
The giveaway will be open until Sunday 5pm GMT & I'll announce the winner that evening. If you are a lovely follower please do let me know too. If you are interested, the pack is also available on the Sweetwaterscrapbook etsy site.
Thanks for stopping by & I hope you all have a wonderfully creative day!

1 January 2012

Hoping You Have Wonderful 2012

Its the first day of 2012 & I just wanted to say hello!
I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas. Life has been so hectic since I last posted, so please forgive my silence, but I have been thinking of you all & hope that once all the festivities are over I can get caught up with you & all your wonderful creativity.
In looking back over 2011 I am so grateful for special times with my wonderful family, happy moments shared with by best friend, new wonderful friendships with some incredibly creative women, challenging & humbling experiences with local teenagers with special needs & children from the slums in Pattaya, Thailand....
So many of you have contributed to these memories & so to each one I would like to say thank you. It has been an honour to share a little bit of my life's journey with you. I wish each one of you a happy, creative and peaceful 2012 & hope that we will continue to walk this journey together.
With much love to each one of you