beaufoy christmas market

it's that time of the year. every weekend in london seems to be filled up with holiday markets, events and design fairs. renegade has been and gone and now it's full-speed ahead to december. after finally getting my act together, i will finally be showing off my hand-sewn things at two christmas events this year.

i will be at Artyard Handmade with a table during the december 4th and 5th MAKE, DRINK, SHOP event. dec 4th is sold out but there is still space available on the 5th to join in with a cup of mulled wine and a crafty evening making ornaments and of course, shopping handmade.

and second, the beaufoy christmas market! i am most excited about this one on december 7th because it's in the great hall of the most amazing old school at 39 black prince road (near vauxhall). an amazing space and i'll not only have a big table full of wonderful things but will also be running two workshops throughout the day: painting clay ornaments and block-printed christmas cards.

bring on the mulled wine and shortbread biscuits!


learn to knit: hand warmers

where did this chill come from? it seems like summer ended pretty abruptly, and now we're in full swing of a grey, drizzly autumn. the windows are shut, likely till next spring, and we've even pulled out our blankets from the closet.

while i do wish for sunny and crisp autumn days like i'm used to in niagara, i don't mind snuggling up in bed with a cup of coffee and my laptop. working from bed is so much better than the office. colder days means one thing: knitting season has arrived. i never really feel like knitting in summer, it just doesn't feel right but i've pulled out my needles now, printed off some new patterns, notable is this jul hat from wiksten.

cooler mornings mean it's about time to pull on the handwarmers. that next step before it's full-on mitten season. here's a very simple pattern to follow if you're just starting out with knitting or want a quick project to whip up in a weekend.

i've just started a pair myself and think they'd look pretty precious with some buttons sewn along the side. photo on the way!


grey expectations

just thought i'd share a page out of my sketchbook from recently.
also, loving my new nail polish, aptly named grey expectations.


crazy for crosses

learning to sew piped cushions was on my list of things to master this summer. they're so simple, why have i avoided them for so long? a friend asked me to sew six small accent pillows in some pretty luxe fabric (£55/metre!!!) with silk trim in july. i think i'm an old hand at them now and show no signs of stopping.

my love for cross-patterned things came out on this pillow which is destined for someone else's home. i printed the fabric the old fashioned way, using a potato stamp. the last time i used a potato stamp was probably kindergarden, twenty-odd years ago but i find it's one of the easiest ways to print on fabric because of the natural sponginess of the spud.

here you are, a potato-stamped cross pillow with an envelope back and turquoise piping.


flower bomb

a little flowery goodness does the soul good. i make it a habit to go out to the new covent garden market every couple weeks to buy flowers for the flat. it's a little luxury that definitely makes working from home that much more bearable.

plus i always have something fresh to draw when i need a few minutes for my mind to breathe between articles.

i'm loving these by essex-based artist guy catling. there's just something so comforting about blooming florals juxtaposed with black and white photographs.

i actually wish hipsters and boarders would start wearing floral-printed tshirts. it's a good look for them, don't you think?

knit cacti

well don't i feel like a sham of a blogger neglecting this space for so long. it would be a lie to say not much has happened here in the last half year, frankly a lot has happened!

for one, this happened!

and we even have the first three months of marriage under our belt but we can catch up on life a bit later. 

next, knit cacti.

they're everywhere and the most darlingest cacti i have ever seen. and are easy enough to make on your own. flick on the iplayer this is the most brilliant idea to use up odd balls of green wool you have at the bottom of your stash and the best part is, there's no real pattern to follow. use a smaller needer than the recommended size for your wool and go for it, knitting a narrow rectangle. i've done mine in k1, p1 but i've seen others in moss stitch that look really cool too.

once you have a rectangle as large as you want it, loop your tail through the remaining stitches on your needle to create the top of the cactus and stitch down the sides. stuff and close, nestling it in a jar of garden stones. pin the hell out of it because these make mighty fine pin cushions.


twine tawashis

i'm a bit tired of buying kitchen sponges. i gave up buying the cheap coloured ones long ago but even the re-washable ones aren't proving to be the best deal either, especially when it's so hit and miss if they're even stocked at our local shop when it comes time to replace them. so to the internet i went to find a simple alternative i could whip up at home.

left: acrylic tawashi / right: scrubbie

4 balls of garden twine: 99p
knitting needles: already had them
wool batting: £2.50 (enough filling for 6 or so)

introducing the tawashi (japanese for scrubbing brush)

the garden twine is brilliant for this type of thing. it's rough on the dirt and very durable. i've made a flat one which works great for scrubbing at the tough grime and a padded one (with wool inside) to get the suds up. they both dry relatively quick and the little loops on the end make them easy to hang up on the balcony to dry after dish-washing time.

twine is tricky to knit with as it has zero stretch but after i got the hang of it, these knitted up quite quick.