Monday, 16 September 2013

Placement and a place to sleep - well, if you're a mouse like Hunca Munca!

Today, I had my first day back at placement - it was amazing! The mum is lovely and so similar to me: she sews for a living, and loves baking and cooking. we're planning to make plum jam and yoghurt together, and she's got some sewing for me to do.

Tonight I've been sewing on my friend's machine. More specifically, I've been sewing mattresses. Tiny mattresses for the princess in the Princess and the Pea. It's for college. we have to do a story sack (a book in a bag with objects which are relevant to the story) and that's the story I chose. I have this version of the story - I was very fussy when choosing! And I realised that it wasn't the easiest story to find objects for. So I'm sewing a lot of mini mattresses. this is my first one:

I'm rather chuffed! It's dinky and oh-so-sweet!

 Check out that corner sewing! My mamma showed me how to do those when I was home over Summer, and you can see it's come in useful!

Plus, check out how well the stripes ended up matching! Completely coincidental, I didn't do it intentionally at all, but I'm very very pleased with it.

I'm also pretty chuffed with how it turned out because I designed the pattern myself, all out of my own head. I spent the day pondering ho to make the shape, figured that out, then decided dimensions as I went. And here are the distractions for you!

You will need:

a piece of fabric 9"x6" (any fabric will do)
a sewing machine
toy stuffing

All seam allowances are 1/2".

Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and sew along the short sides, and across to the middle of the long side leaving a small gap in the very centre of the long side:

Take each corner, so...

And pull the fabric out to flatten it this way:

Then take a grid ruler and measure about 1/2 " down your seam line:

Check the sides are equal - the distance from the seam line to each edge should be 1/2", the same on both sides:

Draw a line to mark, and pin the corners:

Sew along the line:

Repeat for other 3 corners:

Turn right way out:


Close up hole:


yes, alright, I'm very proud of designing the pattern for this myself! You end up with a soft mattress about 4"x3"x1". if you make lots of them, you can stack them up like I'm going to for the story of The Princess and the Pea. Yes, I'll show you a photo of the finished pile!

That's all for now!

Love love xx

Saturday, 14 September 2013

The Maggot Aftermath with its ups and downs, and some welcome housemates who engage in baking with me!

I know, that last post was just disgusting, wasn't it? well, in case you were worried, the cupboard is now officially clean and spotless; no sign that the maggots were ever there:

See?! Ta dah! All better now! Of course, I wasn't all better - all the yucky maggot cleaning meant that I slept really badly the following night, and then was really vomity the next day, and really ill and whiny. My poor parents! They received numerous phone calls where there was nothing they could really do! But once I'd had a good sleep I felt I much better, and a week later I'm all good!

My housemates have almost all arrived back now, and I no longer have the house to myself - booo! but it does mean lots of good conversation and some wonderful friends who are willing cleaners! We are not your typical students...

I baked with one of my housemates today, Libby (the one who owns Norwegian Blue fish!). She has just started getting a children's magazine made by a particular well known global company which makes films about princesses and mice in clothing for children. So I taught her how to make shortbread, and she made these biscuits:

Not bad, huh?! We had leftover dough which didn't want to turn into the cartoon mouse heads, so I rolled it out and she chose another cutter from my box. the hearts go well, I think! The mouse head was one of those cutters where you cut the shape out, and then they give you another tool to press the face markings in:

Now, I'm normally a super lazy chef, and I just stick the biscuits in the oven straightaway. But as any baker will tell you, if you do that, your biscuits will spread. And we didn't want deformed biscuits. So we chilled them in the fridge first, then popped them in. And they came out very clearly! My recipe for shortbread is a very simple one, from the Good Housekeeping Cookery Book - I think it's under 1-2-3 biscuits. I double the amount, and tweak it a little. But, just in case anyone doesn't know it, here it is:

1 oz sugar
2 oz butter
3 oz plain flour
1 splash vanilla

Mix your butter and sugar together, then stir your flour. Keep stirring, even though it looks too dry, and it will eventually form into big lumps. Squash those together into a dough ball. Pop it in plastic wrap or a food bag and pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes (or not at all if you're feeling lazy!) Take it out and roll it out on a well-floured surface so that it's about 1/4" thick. Cut your shapes out and place them on a tray covered with greaseproof paper. When you can't cut anymore out, squash the dough back together and re-roll and cut untilt here's no dough left. Pop the tray into the fridge for another 20 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Pop the tray in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. take them out when they're light golden in colour.

And that's it! Try not to re-roll the dough or fuss with it too much, as it makes it tough. And be aware that the biscuits should still feel soft-ish when they come out of the oven, but they will harden as they cool. If you leave them in the oven until they're hard, they'll be horrid later! Of course, you know all this, I know, but it helps to say it anyway just in case!

Tomorrow I'm back to church, and Monday I start at my placement - I'm working with a family this semester, and they're lovely people. I had lunch with them on Thursday. Plus, they live only a 20 minute walk from me! Bargain! Wish me luck!

Love love xx

Saturday, 7 September 2013

A new series, life lesson I wish I hadn't learnt lesson two, since lesson one was actually the Dead Fish Incident

I'm back in Bath. It's almost delightful. But, due to the one thing which makes it un-delightful, I have decided to start a series of posts called 'Life lessons I wish I hadn't learnt'. Since I'm pretty sure the Dead Fish Incident was the first of these (even though I didn't know it at the time), I'm starting today with number 2.

Life lessons I wish I hadn't learnt: lesson number 2

Do not leave perishable food in a cupboard for 2 1/2 months, because it will go off and leak brown rotten vegetable liquid...

 ...and develop a fruit fly infestation...


and if you really haven't cleaned it up by then (or in fact even noticed it)...

...What's that, near the brown icky decomposed puddle? That little white stripe? It's a... it's...



Yes, this really happened to me. No, it wasn't my food that was left - as if I would leave vegetables uneaten! One of my housemates left onions and potatoes on the second shelf of her cupboard, and since I did not yet have a cupboard for my food, she kindly said I could share hers for the time-being. Little did I know the horrors that would bring me. But at least now I have learnt what happens if you leave your vegetables to rot for too long. And I have learnt how to dispose of and clean up maggots. A life lesson I definitely wish I hadn't learnt.

Love love xx

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Bibles and festivals, babies are the best, and the month ahead

I know, I haven't posted in ages, bad me. But I have done lots of work, been to the Christian festival momentum, and spent the past 3 days enjoying a 10 week old baby boy! Of course, all of this means that very little sewing has gone on since the blocks I posted for QATWII. But the coming month holds promise, I think - when I get my sewing machine down to Bath!

Momentum was amazing, despite camping (the root of a lot of grumpiness). The worship was wonderful, the talks really interesting, and I splashed out and bought 2 new bibles! Shocking, I know, what could I need 2 more bibles for? Well, this is one of them:

This is the official Momentum/Soul Survivor bible in a year. It's arranged with one passage from each of the old and new testaments and a psalm each day. They also have this great blog where they explore the day's passages and what we can take from them. It's really great for if you've never read the bible before, or if you read it but then can;t understand how it can teach you anything, because the blog talks you through a particular focus or lesson you can learn from it each day. That's not to say that that's all you can get from the passages, but it helps to give at least one meaning to what you're reading!

And this is the other bible I bought - this one pretty much explains itself in its awesomeness:

See what I mean? Bible in graphic novel form! Amazing! I mean, there are some dense bits of bible, like leviticus, numbers... I could go on. But this way they're fun to read!

And just a few pictures of the people I went with:

In worship...

The octopus posing...

I spent a lot of my time with these guys - and they're a lot of fun!

And me there as well!

And I had a blissful day today - I was getting in my newborn hours for Nanny College with the grandson of my mum's receptionist. He's 10 weeks and a day today, and he spent all afternoon fast asleep on me! He's so tiny and delicious and perfect, and I wish I could show you a photo - but I do not post photos of other people or their children without permission. But I assure you he's beautiful and placid and thoroughly lovable! And I would keep him if it weren't for the fact that his parents want him and stealing babies is wrong.

So that's me caught up! I'm back to Bath Thursday evening, and working Friday. And back at college in a couple of weeks. I'm seeing the boy tomorrow for lunch, and hopefully I'll see Mandibles and Bilbo before I go. But we'll see! All that's left to do is link this up to the Small Blog Meet on Lily's Quilts!

Love love xx

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