Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Whats a girl to do..?

One of the downfalls of being a "stitcher" is that there are so many opportunities to hoard things.

As we are going through the process of moving house...again, this has become very apparent.  We have designated a space in the new house for "Sewing Corner", its not exactly a room but a space on the large landing, and Hubby has consented to specific storage and seems to be engaged in determining where existing pieces might go!  Its an exciting time but does involve quite a few trips to Ikea!

I don't throw out many clothes, because I am convinced I can turn them into something fabulous, whether it is through alteration, customising, upcycling or completely hacking up and using buttons, trims and fabric as patches or binding.

I am often inspired by bloggers about their upcycling projects like this one for boys hats http://www.iammommahearmeroar.net/2010/08/upcycled-boy-hats.html

My favourite inspitation at the moment comes via a shop bought top with a chiffon patterned fabric on the front  and fine knit on the back.  Comfortable to wear, easy to pull on with the stretch from the jersey back.  It is also the perfect opportunity to turn some of my larger "scraps" into beautiful tops.  This is perfect for my hoarded stash if I can just find some old T-shirts that would benefit from a beautiful frontage and they happen to be in the complimentary shades to each other!


Monday, July 9, 2012

True Friendship

In March 2011 my best friend asked me and our 3rd Musketeer to be bridesmaids at her up-coming wedding.  So much has happened since then, I have moved to Holland, Musketeer 3 has got engaged herself, the bride to be has bought a new house...the list goes on.

Like many best friends our hectic schedules and the miles between us mean that we do not often get together, and sometimes it can be weeks between a phone call or skype, we are better at text and e-mail to keep us ticking over, but it matters not.

This weekend was the Hen Do. Musketeer 3 and I have been prepping, planning, spreadsheeting & sewing like crazy for the last 8 months, only for it to be scuppered in the last 10 days by cancelled accomodation.  M3 handled it far better than me, I actually screamed when I saw the cancellation e-mail and scared the crap out of my kids!
Frantic calls and first rate negotiation found us a more than suitable alternative and at this point I can honestly say God Bless The Hilton Group, particularly the Nottingham branch!

The 3 of us and the brides mother gathered for our first day of spa treatments and dress fittings which included the most efficient shoe shopping trip I have ever been part of!

Then off we trekked through the floods, to Nottingham for Clay shoots, Private dinners and Champagne tasting as well as the obligatorily dancing to music from our adolescent years!

Stresses and strains of organisation aside, we had an amazing time and it just proves that the quality of a friendship such as ours is not based on the hours spent in each others company (although we would like to increase that a bit) but the absolute ease and loyalty to each other.

Roll on the next 6 weeks when we are together again for the wedding and the beginning of new chapters in our lives as they criss cross each others, and weave the unbreakable fabric of true friendship.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jubilee Dress

Hi All,  Long time, no see!  I have been particularly waylaid by the Queen's Jubilee, my own Birthday, a visit from the Mother-in-law, numerous house viewings, extending my running expertise and ultimately buying a house!

So lets start at the top...You may remember the red and white halter dress, well it was just not going to work, halter is not a style I will ever pull off with any sense of dignity.  I removed the top half and cut out the bodice from a Vogue pattern from my stash.

The bodice and skirt waist seams went together surprisingly easily... it must have been fated!  Hubby was very encouraging...he likes me in this style of dress, and suggested I team it with a belt.  I have to admit I did not respond well to his suggestion, it felt a bit like I had laid a beautiful dinner in front of him only for him to tip ketchup all over it.  I stalked back upstairs and after about 5 minutes decided he was probably right and if I could find my blue belt I would have all the necessary colours to attend our friends Jubilee BBQ the next day!  Fortunately I had shoes to match!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Super Power

Now I know that if you search back in my posts to January, you will unearth a pledge to get running, and keep running.  Well I think it happened once in ooh....January!
I have been feeling the pressure recently as my other half has stepped up his training and is signing up for half marathons left, right and centre.  He also corrupted School Dad A earlier this year, who is now out-running him.  Our neighbours are serious runners, the club types, our first introduction included comparison of running times, and he does crazy runs like 40k over sand dunes and is super fast.  Between all of these nutters they have been trying to convert me for the whole year we have lived here, and I have resisted.

Now, however I have been double crossed.  Recently one of my girlfriends, who I firmly believed would be my cake, chocolate and cocktails friend for years to come has, horror of horrors started running, and...she looks great for it.
She has been trying to co-erce me and one other into her madness.  So over coffee, she demonstrated across the living room (and dodging toddler toys) her jogging pace.  This act alone had us in giggles, but spurred me on to try a short circuit (the running kind, not the one in my brain) round our neighbourhood.  So I strapped the girls in (twice) and dusted of the new trainers, found yoga pants I didn't know I owned and borrowed something called a Garmin, looks like a watch to me, and off i trotted.

Turns out I have a new super power, I am an incredibly crappy runner!!  I know plenty of people who post their running times on Facebook, but I am not ready for the teasing that will follow that announcement, here is a much safer environment!  I ran 2, yes 2, kilometers and it took me 16 minutes.  It was fine, not fun, just fine.  I will probably do it again one day.

The neighbour has already suggested that in 4 weeks time I will be ready for a 5k race, I knew there was a reason I had avoided this activity!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Vakantie Fun & Games

My boys have been on May Vacation for 2 weeks and I thought I would post about some of the boy-child fun and games I have been introduced/forced into this fortnight.

Days 1-3 were pretty much taken up with chores, outdoor play, bike and scooters round the local park etc.  However, on day 4 of the vacation I decided to brave a trip into town to the busy market and cheery breakfast with a friend and her wee one in a newly opened cafe.  Now I know bribery is not something that many parenting gurus will advocate but my two are pretty used to it now, so should they behave themselves they would be treated to their choice of toy from the toy shop, (budget restriction applied).  It is at this point I was introduced to the totally mysterious (read: seemingly pointless) boy-world of Bakugan.  For the uninitiated among you this is basically a Transformer-type alien but no bigger than a large marble, that you roll across the floor and when it comes into contact with one of the magnetic cards provided it springs into alien/monster/robot form.  This is supposed to happen in a battle environment, but my 4 year old is quite happy to roll and observe the transformation!
Later that week at the Queens day markets (biggest flea market ever) he picked up Top Trumps - Sports Cars from the son of a family friend, for the grand old price of 50 cents!  I can tell you now, I am bored of these damn cards already but am trying to hang onto the educational aspect of comparing the top speeds of cars as numerical reasoning.  I cannot wait for Godmother Yellow Hair to get out here, she is a demon Top Trumps player she can take over from here!
A medley of treat days followed, trips out to various indoor soft play climbing frames and trampolines, swimming at the wave pools. 
Todays activities have surpassed even my expectations.  Today we played hide and seek, I decided to get pretty creative about it.  I spent 10 minutes under a bath towel behind a door and another 10 minutes stood in the hallway in wellies with my coat over my head.  They walked past me several times, there is something to be said for hiding in plain sight.  I had to reveal myself after Child 1 shouted, "Mum, we've looked everywhere... I'm starting to get a bit worried about you now".

After all the treats and days out, it was todays game of Hide and Seek that got them running towards their father to tell him what a great hider mum is!  Score!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mission completion,,,,

I have been sorting through the "incomplete" pile today, a task in itself I can tell you!

I have uncovered the following;
2 incomplete boys waistcoats made in anticipation of my sisters wedding in 2010, (we ended up getting one to fit from the hire shop to match the groomsmen).
1 incomplete halterneck summer dress

1 incomplete maxi length evening skirt from...OMG 2003!!!  (This one only got as far as being cut out)
Numerous alterations, hemming, missing buttons.

I left the room feeling quite hopeless.

But I have a plan...
Waistcoats I will probably abandon, no foreseeable use for them, and the boys are getting so big so quick.
Must hem summer halterneck, and as it is a little low cut probably fashion a little extra coverage.
Turn maxi skirt into a retro style dress, this will be the first time I have combined patterns, ie the existing skirt to a Retro bodice.  The skirt is just not something I would wear anymore, but completed as a dress it may just do for any weddings or partys that crop up!

Watch this space!!!

I will probably omit the bow...
I'm not a bow kinda girl!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Spirit Of Ginger

 Recently I have been prompted by the spirit of Ginger to post about the freaky stuff he does, they are numerous!

Today he ate both ends of an Ikea pencil.

While I was busy in the Kitchen he had the TV on.  I invited him into the kitchen to try the offerings from the oven.  It was at this point I noticed his beige T-shirt, his chin and his cheeks has this general grey tinge about them.  This is not unusual, he spends most of his time looking like no one loves him, he is just one of those grubby kids you cannot keep clean (I do try, honest).

As I started picking little unidentified chunks from about his lips and from his tongue, I kept asking him what he had eaten..."Nothing" came the reply several times, even his big brother could shed no light on the matter.

I made my way to the last known sighting of the Ginger One (the Sofa) and found more unidentified chunks and a half chewed Ikea Pencil he had been using to design a Thank You card earlier.  Cut to me speedily Googling lead poisoning, the possible ill effects of eating pencils and the chances of me being found guilty of neglect!  I am pleased to announce there are none and that modern pencils are made from Graphite/Carbon, which in turn means my only admission needs to be on here!

No plans for this weekend, we might go for an all you can eat buffet at the Ikea Showroom!



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Science or Magic???

There is something very special about fireworks, always has been.  We all know they signify a celebration or a party of some kind.  The Dutch love them and quite frankly on New Years Eve they go completely over board, to the point where I could have burst into tears and the next "bang".  They went from 10am -2am next morning,  that day alone could have turned me against fireworks forever.
Sunday night though was Queens Day Night (eve), we found out about our local town center hosting a fireworks display to celebrate the eve of Queens Day.
A quick Metro ride later and we were surrounded by drum beats and party atmosphere.  The display started at 10pm and for the next 10 minutes my 4 year old clung round my neck in sheer delight and awe.  It was one of those moments that as he gets older are getting rarer.  He is still little enough to be carried on my hip, which gave me the perfect view of the fireworks lighting up his face and sparkling in his eyes.
He hugged me tighter and tighter with each crescendo and couldn't help himself from shouting in my ear how pretty they were and asking how they went bang, we agreed on "magic" being the answer, it seemed wrong to explain their magnificence away with science.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No Guts No Glory

I finally plucked up the courage to admit to being an author of a blog, and it got me wondering why I was so worried in the first place.
I have a few followers (thank you to the 3 of you) though they are "reciprocal" bloggers that I follow.  The fear factor was borne out of admitting to my blog in the Real World!  I have never even let my husband read it, and my family are completely oblivious to it.
I should not have worried, within minutes of announcing Red Rose To Tulip on my Facebook page my page views shot through the roof.  I was fairly confident I knew who said viewers would be and in the most part I was correct.  Everyone has been very complimentary, so my humblest thanks to all of you.
Pressure is on now to keep up the pace and keep you all glued to your screens for the next installment in my life!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To Infinity And Beyond...

 So today is the annual Teachers birthday at my sons school, they all have a party on the same day to make things easier and I suppose a bit more fun for everyone.
I only discovered this on Monday afternoon, partly due to an insanely busy previous week and partly to not fully understanding the letter in Dutch.  That is becoming fairly standard as last week I sent my son in with an extra piece of fruit as requested (or so I thought) and was informed the school were providing the extra piece of fruit, ooops!

I digress.  I did find out that the teachers tend to have a list that you can pick something from.  Being late to the game, the list was all gone.  Turns out this may have been a blessing as one of my friends had to buy vouchers for facials at the local spa!!!  I decided, not surprisingly to bake cupcakes and make a home made card!

I am sure there are other mums reading this who have experienced the unnerving wave of sweat and nausea as they arrive at the school gate to see enormous, beautifully wrapped offerings. These are carried in by clearly over-burdened children, while parent walks proudly behind on their i-phone, clearly checking out the corner of their eye that every other parent has seen their incredible gift and is gazing in shock and awe at their generosity.

My son was typically undeterred and in his Buzz Lightyear costume ran very excitedly in to the class and plonked his tin foil wrapped, chocolate cupcakes on the table next to the 3 tier cake with sugar craft flowers all over it.  A tiny bit of me died at that point.  That is until School Dad A, whispered into my ear, "Shit, we painted a picture" at which point we were able to find solidarity in rolling our eyes at the vain attempts of over-stretched parents to curry favor with the teachers.

Who knows if I get it right as a School Gate Mum, or if the teachers and other parents snicker behind my back, but I should take a tip from my son's approach...dress boldly, act oblivious to the show boating of others and take pride in the fact I did it all myself and from the heart!

To Infinity and Beyond!!!!


Friday, April 13, 2012

A Highland Fling

So I have finished the tartan skirt a while ago and only now remembered to blog about it.  I am actually really pleased with it and I think it is the first item I have ever made that I have worn out!
I found a great pattern in the old stash of Burda Style magazines I had on subscription in 2004! Its the first time I have used any of their magazine patterns and I noticed just in time that they do not add the seam allowance to their patterns, so out came the handy Seam gauge to add to the pattern trace!  As promised I also made a toile for fitting, but as it turned out no alteration was needed!! That's got to be a first right!

The construction was pretty simple, which is a blessing, as the magazine instructions are fairly basic due to space for text.

Ready for the local Kids Disco
I knew that working with a Tartan was going to be a challenge for lining up and it certainly was more fiddly, but it was worth it and I am pleased with the line on the side seams of the skirt. I didn't pay so much attention to matching the waistband pattern once I had cut it on the bias, so it bugs me a bit when I see the pattern misaligned at the zipper, but everything is a learning experience!

Once it was ready it needed a final tweak as the back hem "kicked out".  I just unpicked 2 inches of hem and tapered the back seam from the base of the zipper to the hem, (almost an inch and half out of the hem) and re hemmed with a machine blind stitch.  I have drawn the adjustment on the pattern pieces but not permanently altered it as I am not convinced yet if the "kick" was down to the pattern or the lack of drape in the fabric...it is very firm!

I did a 3 stitch zig-zag at the waist band to stop the lining from rolling over, I really like this way of making lining lie flat on a neckline or waist.

I have worn it out for shopping and coffee with the "Girls" and kids but I may go back to it and attach the lining to the waist/skirt sideseam so it doesn't turn itself completely inside out when I step out of it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pay It Forward...

Many years ago a good friend lent me a book called Pay It Forward, it has since been made into a film, but it has stayed with me since I read it and it is a good motto for life.
I am always willing to help someone out, I like to think I am someone who can be relied upon, called upon and trusted to help out. I have always viewed this as one of my better qualities, but recently I have started to question when that becomes a negative and  people start to take advantage? How do you recognise when you are being used?
My husbands threshold for willingness to help is much lower than mine, especially when it affects our family life, but even more so when the amount that I am doing means that he comes home to someone who is burnt out. Although I am someone who expects people to ask me for help, I do not ask others for help easily. I am a coper, I always have been. I am resourceful, and if I am motivated to do something, I will find a way to accomplish it. I think nothing of being the parent that takes care of flat pack and erects beds.

One friend describes me as on a permanent mission. For example I need to buy a new bookshelf, I have no car, its raining and Ikea is a 60 minute bike ride away, doesn't stop me, just has to be done...so do it!
The same friend also describes me as the one who always answers a cry for help but never cries out for herself.
Another friend has offered to pay me when I look after her son while she has to work.  I refused payment, but it does suggest to me that she knows she is asking a for bit more than a helping hand.

It gets you into trouble aswell though.  The things I do well, and others may not, like my baking and sewing get me into the most trouble.  I will offer to make the birthday cake, sometimes I am asked.  I am asked to make craft things, curtains, hem trousers etc, sometimes I offer, but everytime I do something for someone else and to their timescale a little bit of my enjoyment of the skill dies.  I feel the pressure.

How do you balance the enjoyment of your hobbies and the ability to help others, with the high expectations of yourself and them?  I am sure this is something Wonder Woman and Supergirl struggled with too, so I am in good company!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am once again attempting to lose weight, and have been on a new program for 7 weeks now.  I have got to the point where I float between losing weight and regaining it.  I get here, think I can lose weight whenever I like and treat myself to an edible reward or 6 and then next week back to the top weight. This is a dangerous week and wouldn't you know it, its Easter!!!! This is the second time during this weight loss program that I have reached this loss and put it back on, so although I have lost 3 lbs, I am kidding myself I have lost 7lbs because I lost 4 put it back on and then lost 3 again!!
I made the mistake of announcing my 2lb weight loss this week, which of course triggers the other half into asking the questions that I don't want him to ask, like "so how much is that over all?" and "how long have you been following this one?" It also means he raises his eyebrow at every mouthful I raise to my lips!

I wonder how many calories are burnt in 30 mins of beating up your hubby?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nightmares for Rent

One of the challenges of living abroad is having to relinquish control of the elements you have left back home.  In our case it is the house that we saved so hard to buy, lovingly refurbished, bought both our boys home from hospital to, and created so many fabulous memories in the 8 years we lived there.  It was with trepidation that we decided to let the property and have a management company look after it for us, but at the time we still wanted the fall-back of a place to return to if moving abroad went horribly wrong. 

For the last few months it has become a source of stress as the tenants have failed to pay, and we have had to chase the management company relentlessly.
We finally decided to serve notice on the tenant, and last weekend they moved out.  The saga does not end there as we hoped it might.  Instead the tenant got angry with  the management guy and refused to hand back the keys until he got his deposit back!

Now I start to wonder where these people come from?? In what world do you not pay rent for 2 months, have 3 cats on a "No Pets" contract, put a cat flap in  PVC door, leave a stain on the carpet, and expect your deposit back????

Rant over!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Valentines...

Well I hope you all had a lovely Valentines day, some of us were more successful than others.  I have a friend who received a pink i-phone, others the more traditional red roses and chocolates and a few lucky girls with jewellery.  On the flip side, one friend commented that she might aswell be single, i suspect however that if she were single she would have had far more attention from admirers!
Plenty of friends were inundated with obscure red shapes with sticky collage on them proudly presented by their children as they ran from school gates, myself included.
For my own part, I baked, of course, heart shaped cookies with the kids and a big ol' cream cake to boot!  In return he cleaned the bathroom.  It was born out of necessity but actually was received by me with thanks when I came in from my Dutch language class and sank into a lovely hot bath in very sparkly surroundings!  Its the little things that count.
My favorite valentine moment came from a friend who said her husband gave her "Chocolate Angel Delight in a plastic cup, with a sparkler and 23 years so far". How sweet that the displays of one day pale into insignificance after a lifetime together.

With Love,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Not according to plan...

So I'm wondering if other people find therapy where they least expect it?  After a pretty full on week with the kids and the sub zero temperatures, I was looking forward to a weekend where Dad took over and I could get all the things done that I just don't do when the kids are around.
He's had a tough week too so on Saturday morning when he said he was going to the lake for a quick skate (even though he also said he didn't feel well), I smiled sweetly and carried on cleaning up breakfast.  An hour later when he called to tell me he had chained the bike to a tree and lost the bunch of keys (my set incidently) I was no longer smiling but cursing him under my breath as I bundled the kids into the bakfiets, spare keys in hand to go and rescue him.  He looked particularly pathetic when I arrived, so I calmly unlocked the bike and advised him we would see him later as we were continuing with our original plans for the day, which he had vetoed the previous evening.
40 minutes of power biking later, my friend handed me a coffee and I didn't even feel the need to bitch about it all!!
The boys had a lovely time charging about the soft play and climbing frame zone and I was well rested for the bike  back.
Much the same the next day from the other half.  So while he quietly suffered in bed, we had pyjama breakfast of coco pops in front of the TV and then very casually set off for the zoo.  A few hours later and 2 very tired boys cuddling me on the tram, we were back for dinner, bath and bed.
It wasn't what I had planned for my weekend but the general pace of it was very refreshing; no school bell to beat, no wrestling into snow suits and gloves, the joy of not having to be anywhere but exactly where we were at any given time felt like a holiday.  Its not my kids that drive me mad, its their schedules!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting organised...

So as usual any distraction from the numerous unfinished jobs and un-started cleaning is a welcome distraction.  Convinced that I needed more order in my sewing room and eldest boys room, i hot footed it to Ikea with my car owning friend (flat pack is not a good look on a bakfiets). We only just got it all in the boot and did have to get the kids to sit with their knees round their ears, but we got it all home and I am proud to say that I have assembled every last bolt and dowel myself on two draw units, a kids craft table and four chairs!!

Now that one of said drawer units is in the sewing room, and the myriad of sewing paraphernalia is spread about the room waiting to be re-homed, i thought it was a good time to avoid the actual act of tidying and blog about the potential of it instead.

Not only have I abandoned the sort-out to blog, but I abandoned my Dutch language studies to construct the unit.  I am a hopeless, easily distracted kinda girl...with no homework to hand in!  Can a 32 year old woman get away with "the dog ate it"?

Monday, February 6, 2012

February already...

I can't believe February is upon us already!!  Typically I am doing a pretty poor job of keeping up with my New Year Pledge, the tartan skirt is lying in pieces and the trainers have not been past the front door in 2 weeks!  The only pledge I am making any kind of progress on is the baking, which is not helping the running or the fit of the skirt!

The other half is still crazy busy although we did have him at home this weekend for our initiation to "The Dutch on Ice".  We have been experiencing sub-zero temperatures all week and on Friday it finally broke and snowed, which would have been beautiful to watch had I not been cycling home from the school pick up on a Bakfiets with frozen gears...thank Goodness they froze in 3rd!

The boys were in fits and couldn't wait to get out in it.  As most parents know this entails 15 minutes of locating and wrestling with every glove hat scarf and welly boot you have in the house, only for them to throw one snow ball, get one back in the face and 5 minutes later you are doing it all in reverse but now the kids are crying and there is a puddle in the foyer.  Thankfully, my other half being an Aussie and a big kid at heart, he still finds snow and ice a great novelty, so he did the lions share of winter wrestling over the weekend.

The local park
The Lake at sun down
Every canal and lake that you came to was covered with families skating and sleding around, our local council had even flooded the local park 4 days earlier so that when the frost came, acres and acres of natural ice rink is created.  I just don't think you'd see it in the UK, what with health and safety gone mad, I even thought twice about sending pictures home in case someone in Europe decides the Dutch are all cracked and intervenes with new legislation.  Thankfully so far only my mother has commented that she had "chills" looking at the photos!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Year Pledge

An ancient Chinese proverb says the journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step. Well taking that as inspiration while I was on the treadmill for the first time in 4 years! I have decided to make this the year of 1000's.  1000 km of running (treadmil or road), 1000 hours of creative work (inspired by Victoria at 10000 hours of sewing) and having just ordered my new Kitchen aid mixer (in Raspberry) 1000 cookies/cupcakes!
All I need to do now is create a way of keeping a log of all this, I feel a spreadsheet coming on which will probably lead to another 1000 hours of Excel!

A "school mum" tipped me off to using the German amazon to get my Artisan Kitchen Mixer sent here, in Holland, same plugs/voltage/free postage, great tip, especially after the typically Dutch sales assistant in the Bijenkorf told me I could have it in Red, Black or Cream and "No they would not order my preferred colour to the store"...Just love Dutch Customer service!  Thank God for the Expat/schoolgate network!

Sewing wise I have found a great pattern for the tartan materiel I have been hording.  I found it in the old stash of Burda Style magazines I had on subscription in 2006! Its the first time I have used any of their magazine patterns so was pleased that I noticed in time that they do not add the seam allowance to their patterns, so out came the handy Seam guage to add to the pattern trace!  As promised I have also made a toile, which  should be piecing together now but the bottle of chilled Pinot Grigio won that discussion, so a job for tomorrow!

Wish me luck

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Welcome to 2012

So its a new year and I've created my blog.  Its one of those crazy times in my family's year as the other half is working his way through "silly sales period" until March, so hopefully I will recognise him then.
Kids are getting ready to go back to school and I have managed to have my first Dutch playdate for my oldest son so hopefully the transition back to school this term will be less hazardous, keep your fingers crossed for Monday!
So as normal service is about to be resumed, my thoughts have turned to all the things i plan to get done once some of my time is my own again.

I have been hankering after an Artisan Kitchen Aid for a while now and over Christmas found myself shelving certain recipes because they involved too much beating or creaming for my liking.  I have taken the decision to treat myself with some of the money my Nana left me earlier this year.  All I have to decide on now is the colour.  I want something that will brighten my kitchen and make me smile each time I use it, but without offending my other half's more reserved tastes.  I am thinking of Tangerine or Yellow, but Red and Purple are coming up close alternatives.  I have the additional glitch of wanting to avoid Dutch prices but wanting the convenience of having the appropriate plug and voltage compatibility, wish me happy e-shopping!

I am also craving some time in my sewing room.  There are at least 2 fabrics that deserve to be transformed into something beautiful, I just need to locate the right pattern.  I have also promised to be more thorough with projects from now on and make toiles for all my work, as I so often have to make adjustments or discard something that does not fit and can't be salvaged (you think I would have learnt by now).  With a bit of luck I will manage some time in solitary sewing confinement tomorrow, so I'll keep you posted.

Well seeing as this is a bit of a "dipping of the toe" into the waters of blogging I will leave it at that for now and see how I go from here.  Must remember to take photos.