I went into Dublin at the weekend. It must be tourist time because the big stores have their top-hatted doormen out. Do they keep them in a back room or cupboard the rest of the year like Richmond from the IT Crowd? I LOVE Dublin. And since finding that the fabric and notions store from the old Woolen Mill (now a restaurant) relocated to Capel St as W. M. Trimmings, it’s a city visit with extra joy.
I top up my fabric stash and buy notions and trimmings and threads and other gorgeous things, darling, just because it makes me happy. I have no vision what these bits and materials will become. It’s sheer acquisition. I can’t even put the bag in the boot – it has to be beside me, under my watchful eye!
Once home, I like to pore over it and enjoy the colours and just revel in the Lovely Things. Like Smaug from the Hobbit, I preside over my treasure most greedily. The more I have, the happier it makes me. A feast for my senses, a Smörgåsbord, you might say. (Groan, an AWFUL pun, I know).
On the way home I popped into Ikea. And bought a couple of metres of ‘useful’ (bwahaha) fabric and some other bits. Cheap and cheerful. The fabric. Not the experience. It’s never pleasant there on a Saturday.
Then home where I had lots of tweed fabric waiting to get made up into cushions. This design was inspired by stationery*** I had seen somewhere on the net. Lots of work in Illustrator to create all the elements for the applique work. Lots of fussy cutting and bondawebbing. Lots of stitching round each of the elements. But worth it… I really like the end result. The outer is a rich-wool mix tweed, as is the mouse. The cat is mainly 100% cotton with some tweedy bits for decoration. The inner is a feather filled cushion to keep it soft and plump and ever so comfy.
*** I see, all too often, the word Stationery spelled with an ‘a’. Yes, Stationary IS a word in its own right but means static, not moving. It does not means paper-related articles like cards, writing paper or drawing materials.
An easy way to remember how to spell the paper-related word is to think ‘E for Envelope’. This may make me sound like Big Bird from Sesame Street but I don’t care. ***
Samsara Dicky Bird Babies
Finally, made a few more Samsara bird babies. I didn’t really like using felt (even double thickness) for the beak so now use a four-fold cotton instead to give the beak a bit more peckability and perkiness. I adore making them and the filling them with lavender leaves my little sewing room beautifully fragrant. The whole experience is very absorbing and zen-like, almost. Ahhhh.
And talking of Ahhhh here’s Jess chilling out. Comfy, warm and content settled down. She was fast asleep with five minutes of this photo being taken!
Now to grab something to eat before I get on with stuff I have to do. Which reminds me… Yesterday I made a big batch of meringue nests (recipe from Mary ‘Bez’ Berry – the best IMHO). Six eggs to make 16 nests.
Now, I’m a very confident cook and have made meringues dozens of times and am really blasé about cracking those eggs and separating the yolks from the white. I have a glass for the yolks and put the whites straight into the mixing bowl. For some reason I had a hunch not to do that and check the whites into a different bowl first then put the white into the mixing bowl. Good bloody job I did. The sixth egg white was streaked with yolk. Dodged a bullet there. Intuition or what?!
Anyhoo, used another egg to make the meringues. And used the yolks to make a Spanish Omelet with mixed salad and chips followed by a bowl of blueberries with natural yoghurt and a meringue nest for our tea. Nom Nom.