Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Christmas Pressies - I love books!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. We had a lovely Christmas with family and friends. My daughter loves watching Wallace and Gromit which is always on the television during the Christmas holidays. While she watching 'A Close Shave' she pointed out that Gromit knits just like Mummy, which made everyone laugh. Hee! Hee! Hee! friends and family know we so well. I love books especially knitting, sewing, crafting and baking. So I'm so grateful to have received these wonderful books for Christmas. I love you guys/gals....thanks!

Pretty Knits: A beautiful knitting book by the owner of Loop:

One Day Summer Clothes: I might attempt to sew some summer clothes next year

Nigella Christmas: Arr the Goddess...I enjoyed the programme and now I have the book...yay!

Cakes and Desserts: This is from Santa at work (secret Santa)
My husband got these pressies for Christmas:
Chinese Cooking made Easy: He has been watching and he has the book

Teapot and tea cup plus cozy:

Have a Great New Year everyone!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The Sales are on!

Just to let everyone, who lives in the UK, know that John Lewis is having their post Christmas Sales (starts 27 December 2008 and ends 18 January 2009). There is a good range of Rowan and Debbie Bliss yarns for sale at up to 50% off their original prices. I have never knitted with Debbie Bliss yarns and wanted to buy some, but they kept on disappering. I only had half an hour to choose my yarn and a budget of £10 which I went over by £1. So this is what I bought for £11; Rowan Pure Wool, Rowan Little Big Wool and Rowan Cashsoft. Not bad eh...I'm thinking about using these yarn to make some accessories for the rascal and her friends, but lets see.

I didn't get a chance to see the fabric section, but I'm wondering whether they have any Amy Butler fabric in the Sale? I doubt it, but I might check next time I go there.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Times flies when you are having fun...Merry Christmas Everyone!

Gosh, I can not believe that it will be Christmas this week (in fact in 2.5 days)!! What a year it has been! I've met some wonderful fellow bloggers and learnt so much (personally and craftwise). I'm so glad that I have started knitting and sewing again. The baking has been fun too.

I'm so glad that my rascal has recovered from her flu, now we can have a nice, relaxing and stress free Christmas break. I'm still at work at the moment, I finish for the year on the 23. This is what I have planned for the Christmas break:
  1. Christmas Eve will be spent at my Inlaws as it is my Father In Law's birthday
  2. Christmas Day will be at my Mums for a Christmas Roast
  3. My hubby wants to spend Boxing Day at the 'Sales' ...I wonder whether John Lewis will start their yarn sale early this year?
  4. The other days will be spent relaxing with friends and family. I need to do my Tax Return, but it depends on whehter I have the time (or whether I feel like it.....I could also do it in January?). If I get a quiet moment, I'd like to work on my knitting projects (mainly hubby's never ending scarf and the rascal's cardigan)..but lets see.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year. I'm planning a short series of blog post on how to save money whilst crafting in the new year. So I will see you then...Happy Holidays!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Back to My Knitting and Something Old

Out of all the crafts I have say that knitting is one of my favourite, its so relaxing and you can easily knit and/or purl all your stress away stitch by stitch. As the weather is getting colder and Christmas is coming, things at home has become a bit stressful, so I'm glad I have my knitting to keep me sane.

I have also started using a tissue cozy I knitted last year and which I have forgot to blog about...oh gosh how did that happen?? The pattern can be found here, the every talented lady behind Zakka Life. I made some small adjustments to the length and added a pink gingham lining. It has been lying in my craft draw for while, but I now use it to protect my mobile phone. At a recent craft fair (it was a private corporate one, so I can't give the name of the company) a stall holder saw the cozy and wanted a bright pink one, so I gave her the pattern.

My daughter's cardigan is going well so far....touch wood. Here is a photo of the progress (she has dark hair, her head is there....Hee! Hee!):

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

I'm Back from my Baking & Chocolate Adventures

Wow....what an adventure! We had such a great day and we are so glad that our cakes and chocolates were so well received. To read more, refer to the my other blog. After the fair, I just slept and slept....I was completely knacked. The Wemake Fair was great, there were so many crafty gifts to buy, but I was so busy with the cake stand that I didn't have time to buy anything. Luckily my lovely husband got me a free goodie bag with lots of business cards to check out and few handmade goodies. I really like the crochet face cloth, it is so nice to feel.

After the fair, I had to tend to my 'To Do' list which was getting a bit out of hand, and this explains why it has taken me so long to start blogging again. Most of them includes things that I promised my daughter such as getting the Christmas decorations, finding a T shirt for her school play, getting her Advent Calender (I think I will make one next year which is re-useable), sorting out her school trip to London Zoo, writing letters to Santa (and members of the family), writing cards to her friends...etc...

I'm going to slowly ease myself back into my work in progress, mainly my daugther's cardigan which I have finished the back and pockets. Hopefully my husband's scarf will be finished by next winter...Hee! Hee!

Now I'm going to catch up with all the lovely blogs which I have missed over the past few weeks....

Friday, 21 November 2008

Debbie Bliss Magazine

I know I'm not suppose to be blogging and I should be focusing on my baking/chocolate making project, but I just can't resist telling you fellow bloggers about a bargain I found today. Most lunch time (when it is not pouring down with rain), I go to White Cross Market near where I work. They have great food there (I recommend the salad, falel and the Italian stall) as well as a discounted magazine stall. Look what I found today for 60p:

The first edition of the Debbie Bliss magazine....the premier issue (Fall/Winter 2008). Inside is packed with wonderful patterns which I should be capable of knitting......yay.....I'm very excited..........I oh do love a bargain.
Now, I have to stop and calm myself down now....breathe......I will have a look at the projects after 6th December 2008....otherwise Gracie will kill me (Hee! Hee! Hee!).

Monday, 17 November 2008

Taking a small break for Simply Scrumblicious and being a 'Yappy'

I'm taking a 'very short' break from this blog over the next two weeks as I need to focus 100% on Simply Scrumblicioius. I don't believe that we only have two weekends left till the Wemake fair. Arggg! You can keep up with our progress on our blog.

On my way home from work today I picked up the London Paper (another free paper provided on the streets of London) to ease the stress of communting home during the rush hour (sound familiar doesn't it). I found another article on Knitting (also on jam making and owning your own allotment) written by Johnny Vaughan (yes the guy from the Big Breakfast). According to this article people in their 20s and 30s are turning into Happy Yappies - Young Aged Pensioners?? I'm typing this wearing my old peach (hand-knitted) cardigan that my cousin made me. Hee! Hee! So instead of going out and wasting money on drinks and clubbing we prefer to stay at home and attend knitting groups.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Knitting in the Metro

On my way to work I always pick up the Metro (a free newspaper provided in the London Underground) to relieve the stress of commuting during the rush hour. Look what I found today:

Photo taken from Today's Metro

A whole article on Knitting by Kristina Georgiou, how cool is that! It certainly cheered up such a miserable start to the week. It promotes knitting and for new knitters and cool patterns on (yes Kyoko the one you recommended). I'm really interested in checking out these website, but will have to resist until the craft fair is over as I really need to focus on my baking over the next few weeks. I have noticed that there has been an increase in articles in British magazines and newspapers on buying 'Handmade', there was an article in the Metro a few weeks ago promoting Etsy.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Unwinding and Starting Again

Remember the beret that I was suppose to knit for my Mum a few months ago? Yes the one that I messed up? Well, I have taken my Mum's advice and I have unwind everything and started again. This time I followed a new pattern from Let's Knit magazine called Renee. You can get the pattern free on their website. The instruction was bit strange as it requires 7mm and 20mm needles. So the base fits snugly whilst the body is nice and loose. This makes the beret nice and light. The good thing about it is that it only uses one ball of Rowan Little Big Wool. I also made one for myself in purple.

My Mum also complained that the handle of my first bag looks too messy. So she taught me how to correct my mistake by:
  • ripping out the seam,
  • make a larger gap towards the top of one side of the handle,
  • turn the end of the two handles so the right sides are facing each other and sew across,
  • turn the handle back to the right sides should all be neatly sewed together
  • close the gap that was opened when top stitching the edge.

It is a difficult to explain so please excuse the inexperienced instructions.

My Mum has agreed to teach me how to sew now...yay! She has refused for 30 years, probably because I broke my first sewing machine....Hee! Hee! Seriously, I think she wanted me to get a career first, but now that I'm a Mother and a Wife, I need to be able to sew so I can mend/make basic clothes at she has agreed. I originally thought of spending £390 to learn, but there is a lot more I can do with that kind of money, so I have decided to buy some books and patterns instead.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Knitting Clouds

My fingers are crossed as I've started my first knitted garment. You may remember a while ago that I have been dithering as to whether I should knit a tiny cardigan for a baby or a slightly bigger one for my daughter. Well, my daughter has won and her cardigan is currently being knitted. I'm still not sure how it will turn out......yep I'm pretty nervous about this project.

I really like this pattern as the border reminds me of fluffy clouds. I better uncross my fingers and start knitting.

Monday, 27 October 2008


Oh dear, I went on a little shopping spree at one of my favourite craft shop this weekend and look at what I bought. Some lining (green and orange), two pretty pink fat quarters, magnetic bag clip, self-cover button, some zips and this pretty buckle/closure. Ohhh...I'm going to fun with these. They have some new quilting cotton in bolts and fat quarters as well, but I resisted.

I really like this buckle/closure. It is so dainty. I'm not too sure what I'm going to do with it at the moment, but it would look pretty on a child's knitted cardian/bolereo. What do you think?

Friday, 24 October 2008

First Bag is Finished

Yay, I've finally taken the plunge and made my first bag. It has taken me a few months. Being a bit slow I found it difficult to understand some of the written instructions in books. So I browes the web and found some really useful 'photo' tutorials by some clever bloggers. I have left a link on my blog as a reminder to myself and also to share with everyone.

Well the bag is from a tutorial by 'Tiny Happy'. Her instructions are very clear and the photos made it easy to understand. I made a few minor changes, such as not adding the button and adding a larger pocket inside with a section for my mobile. I had a few problems with the strap as well, as I thought I try and be clever and see whether there was another way of sewing the straps together which didn't work.
Overall, I'm pleased, considering it is my first attempt. I stole the knitted flower from one of my daughter's hats which I'm sure she doesn't mind. Next time I will use a different fabric, make it smaller and use longer straps. Now that might be interesting.
Now for the Simple Tote, SuperEggPlant has a great tutorial.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Cutting and Buying Fabrics

There seem to be lots of bugs going around; my daughter has been coughing and last night her eyes were so sticky that she couldn't open her eyes this morning. I had to use cool water (which had been boiled) and cotton wool to help her open her eyes. It was quite difficult as she has really long eye lashes, poor girl. She was feeling much better today. I've been feeling a bit delicate recently, but not ill enough to take time off work.

I went to Ikea this weekend and bought some lovely fabrics (see above) which I'm planning to make my first tote bag. I intend to the use the blue fabric on the outside and the cream fabric as the lining. Yep, I know that I have been going on about sewing my first tote bag for a while now but it will get done one weekend/evening when I find the time. I have also cut some fabrics to sew a shoulder bag. All I need is half a day with no distraction to sew the bag together.

I was planning to sew the bags up today, but wanted to spend time with my rascal, so we spent the whole day with my parents, chatting and eating lots of yummy food.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Woolly Hats

The deadline for the Innocent Big Knit is tomorrow and I had to rush to the post office at lunch time to get my hats posted (I didn't use to be such a last minute girl). I didn't knit as much as I wanted. I think I'd better continue kniting these mini hats, so by this time next year I will have lots of them . By the way, the Clover mini pom pom maker I brought from the Knitting and Stitiching Show is so useful, it certainly speeds things up.

Here are some of my favourites modelled by our little Sheep from Wales:

I'm planning on going to Sainsbury this weekend to buy some Innocent Smoothies.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

THE Knitting and Stitching Show 2008

I have been looking forward to the Knitting and Stitching Show for a while now. So on Saturday I woke up extra early to make my packed lunch of baked salmon, corgettes and couscous (sorry no photo as I was so hungry at lunch time that I gobbled it up really quickly). This really reminded me of school trips where I use to get so excited. I would have all my packed lunch ready in one of those retro plastic packed lunch box with a flask of warm drink (yes, I was an eighties child)..... I was more concerned about lunch and getting all my other things ready that I forgot my camera. Opps.

I had arrange to go with the lovely Kyoko who was so kind to drive me there as the Jublie Line was not running (again). We set off early and got there just before 10am, so the timing was just right. The Show definately lived up to my expectation and even surpassed it. I had such a great time, being in a large 'Palace' filled with yarn, fabrics, and such creative people was amazing. Kyoko introduced me to more craft shops in London and facts about yarns and knitting. I'm very keen on learning the magic loop knitting skill. I am also very interested in the Scandinavian yarn that they had and the all the knitting patterns, I took a card and will be checking out their web-site.
(Photo from Kyoko)

My daughter wanted to come with me but I was a bit worried about the amount of people there and I know that it will definately be a long day. So I promised that I would buy her a very special present. She had been asking me to teach her how to knit for a while now, but I'm a bit worried about the sharp needles hurting her and I still think that she is too young. So I bought her a Clover mini knitting tool and a pom pom maker. She was SO HAPPY with her present, I got lots of hugs and kisses from her in the evening. With my help she has made this with her favourite green yarn.

I also bought the first edition of Sew Hip magazine and I had a lovely chat with the Editor about making childrens clothes. I am really inspired to do more sewing now, especially now that I have my ZIPPER foot (yay!) and these lovely fabrics from the Eternal Maker . I met the Mother and Daugther team at a show at Olympia where I brought several of thier fat quarters. This time they have more fabric on bolts, clever girls.

Kyoko and I was SO tempted by the embroidery section and the lovely pattern of mini bettles, bugs and butterflies. I use to do a bit of embroidery at school and I was also surprise to see a stand selling batique fabric which I tried at school as well. There was also a button bank where anyone can fill the jars with their choice of buttons. How cool.

(photo from Kyoko)

I look forward to the next craft fair and the Christmas fairs to come.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Craft Fairs Galore

I remember writing on last year asking whether anyone was aware of Craft Fairs/Exhibitions in London. I didn't get a response so I deleted my query as I was a little embarrased. A year later, I'm much more informed after reading lots of crafting blogs and noseying (is there such word??) around.

I've been informed by Terry Howes (a talented jeweler who uses crocheting techniques to make jewelry, how unique), who has a studio at Cockpitt Art in Holborn, that Somerset House in London, will be holding the Origins Craft Fair for two weeks starting on 7 October 2008. There is an £8 entrance fee though, but I'm sure it's worth visiting.

Also the Knitting and Stitching Show will be starting on the 9 October 2008 at Alexander Palace, which I'm planning on going this weekend. Yay!

On the 6th of December 2008, there will be the Wemake Christmas Craft Fair, where my friend Gracie and I will be selling Homemade Cakes and Truffles. There will be many talented crafters selling their handmade goods. Gracie and I have both been working quite hard doing our R&D for the fair, which is why I haven't been knitting and sewing as often as I should be (my to do list is very long now), but I have one and half weeks off in Christmas to catch up. You can see some photos and read about this on our blog, Simply Scrumblicious.

If anyone is aware of more craft fairs, please share.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Childhood Museum and Stitch Club

I've been reading Maria's blog about how her son's friend had never seen a sewing machine before. I guess during the 90s and early 00s many parents would rather buy their children computer games or just let them watch TV. However, I've noticed that during the mid 2000s to date I have seen more parents sewing, knitting and encouraging children to play with hand-made/non-computerised toys. As a parent myself, I do play computer games, but together as a family. I also encourage hand-made toys and crafting, so I think it is good to have a good balance.

I took my daughter to the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green this weekend (for a pinic as well) and it was such a lovely experience. I felt really old as many of the toys such as Cindy (the 70s and 80s type not the modern version), Strawberry Shortcake, etc, were displayed in the museum as retro toys. I also noticed that they have Knitter and Knatter afternoons for keen knitters to get together for tea and 'knit'.

There were also a display of children sewing machines, one which I recognised. My Mum bought me the blue and yellow one when I was about seven or eight. Unfortunately I broke it on day one, which kinds to explain why it took me so long to start sewing again (I started again in my thirties). I also want to share this website with everyone: Stitch Club. Children aged 8 and upwards can learn how to sew. How cool is that.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

6 Quirky Facts

I have been tagged by the lovely Philipa to state 6 Quirky Facts about myself. I was suppose to do this last week, but I got a bit distracted with all that was going on in the Square Mile. So here we go:

1) My job is quite 'quirky'. I used to be an Auditor/Accountant and I have audited some strange clients ranging from rubbish tips (their business was rubbish...get it ;>) to glamous retail stores. I now work in the Technical Department.... you have to be a bit quirky to work there, but hey I enjoy it. On my honeymoon a fellow passenger asked me what I do for living and she laughed when I told her. Well, she said that I am too 'happy' to be an Accountant.

2) I have a love/hate relationship with London Transport. It gets me around London, but at times it really annoys me (to put it politely). I have lots of stories of my travels on London Transport, but I won't bore you...well, last year I got stranded on Chinese News Year's Eve (a big thing as we all have a big meal with our family on that day) because they decided to shut the Jublie Line, and I missed the meal. Boo!

3) When I was small I use to adopt 'Grandparents'. Both my Grandparents lived very far away so I grew up with no one to knit and bake with. So I adopted my friend's grandparents. I have a Granny in Kent who sent me a set of lovely spoons for my wedding. That's why I make sure that my daughter has a good relationship with my parents and Inlaws.

4) I love to sing and I have performed on stage with several Hong Kong celebrities. What happened was I literally climbed on stage voluntaring to enter a singing competition. I can't really sing that well and I came joint last in the competition, which was a bit embarassing.

5) I love the smell of babies. It is such a natural smell.

6) I love Ikea. Could spend hours there browsing the furniture, kitchen ware and fabrics of course.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Knited Cozy for Soup & Strawberry and Cream Scarf

There is a yummy soup shop that also sells the best breakfast in Old Street called Nusa. They have lovely packaging and each year they have a special Winter Soup printed cozy. Last year it was the knitted handmade soup logo which I really liked so I kept them all. They now have the baby bear porridge package which is really cute. I'm looking forward to seeing what designs they have this year.

I haven't been doing much sewing lately, mainly knitting. I found this lovely yarn at the Knit and Stitch Show last year and made a scarf for my daughter. It kinds of reminds me of Strawberries and Cream. What do you think?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Happy Moon Cake Day!

This coming Sunday is going to be the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. It is a time for families to get together for a meal then afterwards there would be plenty of fruits and moon cakes to eat for desert. The children would play with paper laterns and everyone would enjoy the view of the full moon.

Just for fun I thought I'd sew a felt moon cake from this Japanese Craft Book.
My grandparents would make and sell the real cakes during this time, and my uncles still continue the tradition. There are different types of moon cakes, even ice cream moon cakes.

My innocent hats are coming on, I now regret not starting them earlier...oh well I will knit as much as I can and send them before the 17 October. Fingers cross.

Sunday, 7 September 2008


I've been working on my little Innocent Hats and sewing a little something using felt which I will hopefully reveal on the 14th of this month. I've also cut up the fabric for my yoga bag which I have been meaning to make for while now.
My rascal is starting school tomorrow and I have taken the day off tomorrow. So while she is at school, I might have some time to do a bit of sewing.....fingers cross.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Wedding Anniversery

Gosh, time flies when you are having fun. My husband and I celebrated our 5th year wedding anniversery this weekend in the beautiful North Wales, Snowdonia.

We got married on the London Eye. Those of you who live in London may remember the day when the whole of London had a power cut, yep it was on that date, but luckily we didn't get stuck on the wheel. We had a candle lit dinner at the Chinese Restaurant close to the Wheel (now Ozu), the electricity came back within half an hour and everyone was all very romantic.

Anyway, Wales was beautiful, lots of mountains and lakes. The Welsh are also very into their handmade crafts. Their 'love spoons' are beautiful and the different signs represents specific sweet. I also got a receipe for Cawl, which I will try in the winter when it gets colder.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Wordle Fun

The Blog World seems to be having fun with Wordle. This is mine:

Gosh, I've been going on about my trip to Sweden a bit haven't I......must be boring everyone. I like the way I have the words 'Started' and 'New' but not 'finished'. appears that I want to start and do lots of new things, but never get around doing them. This is quite fun. Looking forward to seeing more of these wordles on other bloggers sites.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Innocent Big Knit

Hey the Innocent Big Knit has started again!! Thanks Lupin for the reminder.! I didn't get involved last year as I only found out toward the end of October and by that time it was finished. However, I did buy a mini woolly hat. It is all down to this little hat that I started to knit again and gained the confident to knit more. Here is a photo of the hat I bought and the one I attempted to knit:

These mini figures represent a married couple and was given to me as a present by my business partner who was also my bridesmaid. The wooly hats have been keeping them warm. Hee! Hee!

Monday, 25 August 2008

Crafting and Baking with the Rascal

The long weekend was dedicated to baking and crafting as well as my daughter's first visit to the dentist. She asked the dentist, Mr Lee, was whether he was a good person, after that she allowed him to count her teeth. I have to say that she was very well behaved, unlike her Mum who was terrified of the dentist and had to be dragged screaming and kicking. Hee! Hee!
I made some chocolate walnut brownies and strawberry fresh cream roll. Both so yummy. Due to our new venture I will be doing a lot more baking from now on.
I wanted to do some crafting with my daughter this weekend to keep her away from the Nintendo and Television. She is still too young to start knitting and sewing. So I got some ribbons, craft glue, a piece of fabric, a picture frame and some buttons together and we made this:
I made sure that my Husband got rid of the glass pane first, we then stuck the fabric and ribbons onto the cardboard. It was my daughter's idea to stick the buttons onto the frame and now she has a pretty frame to clip all her hairclips. This frame is inspired by this book, which we originally bought to get some ideas for her bedroom.