Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Me and Herring

This weekend there was a bank holday, but not much good as the skies were grey. I managed to pull myself out of my ear related malaise a little on sunday night with a trip to the pub and a catch up with friends. Just the ticket. I did drink rather a lot of beer though and suffered somewhat yesterday morning. I was meant to go to London with Rich, but i decided it was a bad idea on account of my hangover and with work the next day, but made the most of my mood with a good helping of cooking and eating and treated myself to some polish dinner

My mum bought me this little book when i returned from Poland. It is nice because it has the recipes in both english and polish languages so helps me recognise the dishes. I decided to make Danie z kartofli, jajek i sledzia (casserole of potato, eggs and herring) and Salatka polski (polish salad). Very much egg and soured cream went into it all. And although it didn't quite have the authentic polish flavour, it was treat for sure.


If i wasn't full enough already, i also decided to test out my new loaf tin and make a brack (fruit cake!) I like this recipe because there is just dried fruit, tea, sugar, an egg and some flour. I also added a little milk and hot water to mine to help loosen the mix a bit. It is a real chewy treat.

After all this food i didn't sleep well, and am rather dozy today. Nice to have some leftover herring in my lunch though.

Yours sleepy headedly,
Emilia xxxx

Sunday, 29 May 2011


This week i have been going mad with a blocked ear. Isolation has been the theme of the week. A very strange time it has been.

However, on the positive side, it did mean that I got to nip in to The Fabric Shop in Burgess Hill on my way to the doctors and found a lovely array of nice things there.

I justified a new dress to myself because i was 1. going to the doctors 2. missing a violin lesson so saving some money and 3. depressed and didn't much care.

My mood was lifted when i spotted some spotted!

You can not tell the colour in this picture, but it is a lovely shade of antique navy i would say. There was a red there too which was rather lovely. And some florals. Luckily i have to go back for my ear syringe next week so perhaps another treat will be justified.

I thought that a good ting to make would be something very simple (still not finished Fendi - waiting for parts - more on that later) So i decided to use this simplicity pattern as a basis:

I have another dress which is a similar shape to this, but has elastic at the waist and half lined. I decided that it would be a good thing to do. I also decided to change the neckline so it could be worn without a blouse.

It was very simple indeed, although I had a couple of alterations to make - firstly because i lined the whole dress by mistake (instead of just the skirt) - but easy to fix. And also because i added a pocket, but realised it was not such a good feature afterall.

But here is the happy ending:

Good stuff! And nice with a belt.

Until next time,
Emilia. xxx

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

blankety blank

Now i have been a little bit bad and have been keeping a rather big secret. despite already having a knitting project on the go. and as well with a quilt in progress and some embroidery. and some dressmaking. i still decided that i wanted to knit a blanket.

It all started just before i moved house and i wanted to make lots of things for the home. And this one was a little reward for the time i spent on costume making and a little moving present to myself.

I was inspired mainly by some  pictures of a colinette design which uses feather and fan pattern and really big needles (especially when I saw this one on kathyrnivy.com - there are a great deal of gems in her knitted collection - look at the pile up pups!)

There are so many colours from colinette and i did spend a lot of time mixing and matching. I know though that sometimes the colours on screen are not all that accurate and often vary from lot to lot. Also it was a bit overwhelming to try to match them not knowing how they would kint, so i decided to play it safe and use the colours that i had seen. That combination is called Sedona.

 i searched online for Sedona and found out it is a place in the arizona desert with brilliant blue skies and red rocks and golden sand.

The wool arrived in no time. It looked a bit different to the picture but this is often the way. I used my mum's swift and winder to make these balls which knit nicely from the centre!

Although i knew the lace pattern, there were other things i had to think hard about without the official pattern, such as how to order the colours, how many rows to do before changing, and weather to use garter rows and how often. I used the kathrynivy pictures and some other pictures i found online as a guide to begin with but soon decided that i was happy with a regular texture and it is nice to pick up a colour as i choose.

Although it is quite big, the needles are 8mm and so it is growing at a satisfactory rate. I don't think it looks quite the same as the original one I saw, but i really love the way it's turning out.

strange photos

Yours knowing she really needs to stop starting new things and finish something soon.



Sunday, 22 May 2011

European Song

Last Saturday night was the big fun Eurovision song contest (i like that event!)

Rich (a bit of Armenia) and I (United Kingdom) went to Haywards Heath (twinned with Bondues - France and Traunstein - Germany) to see Robyn (United Kingdom) and Dorin (Romania) I decided to make and take an apple strudel (Austria) and some wheat beer (Germany) and Dorin had made us a risotto (Italy).


In honour of the event, i decided that my mixtape this month would have a taste of europe about it.

 Et voila!

Sehr gut,

zdob si zdub,
Emilka Backerberg. xx

Monday, 9 May 2011

slow and steady wins the race...

... (and hopefully finishes the dress)

Tonight was meant to be my first evening class back after easter, but i did a sneaky bit of skiving. As I am still to finish putting together my dress, i knew that i would get more done at home so devoted my evening to it.

I continue to be pleased with progress, but starting to feel distressed that i am still not finished. I am not sure what is taking me so long!! I think it is too much stopping to sit back drink tea and eat biscuits (tonight i ate 11) and just admire it.

But i wanted to show the next step...

As you can see, i have done a little bit of work, and managed to put together the sleeves (just pinned on so far) and sorted out the front facings and collar. There was a little adjustment needed there, but i think i've done the trick.

All that is left now is the lining and then sewing in the sleeves. One more sewing machine session surely.

Now i must think of a good excuse to tell my teacher...

Also there was a rainbow. I love those.

And for another thing, i must put my mouse on a diet. I think he is filling up on muesli and not his healthy balanced mouse food diet. He definitely has a double chin now.

So now i better get on with tidying up.
Next time you see me, i'll be wearing that dress by jove!

Yours unfocused and biscuit tummied,
Emilia. xxxxx

Monday, 2 May 2011


Today was the last of the long weekends for a while so i really thought i better get on with sewing together my quilt triangles (also i was in a bit of a restless mood and felt that if i did any dressmaking i might not have done such a good job)

I prepared these such a long time ago now, but hadn't forgotten what i had learnt during that process (it had thrown up many a dilemma) and with my trusty working out drawing to refer to, managed to lay the pieces out nicely:

This was the fun part of the task over with and on to sewing all my triangles together. It did feel like quite a chore (probably because of my mood) but once i dedicated myself to the task in hand it didn't really take so long.

And voila, the fruits of my labour:

I am ever so pleased with it. I think my pattern worked out well, and although i was bored and had a couple of sewing mishaps and mismatching seams, the result is not too shoddy (just need a couple of touch ups with my needle and thread. another day.)

Although this was a lot of the work done, there is still quite a lot to do in putting on the border and backing and wadding, and sewing in the quilt design. Although I have told my quilt mentor (a lady i work with likes to make quilts) that i would do the quilting by hand and I know there are some beautiful effects to be gained from doing that, I am keen on keeping things simple for my quilt and using straight lines of stitching along the lines of the triangles. That probably means it is sensible to use the machine. And also sensible considering all the things i am working on at the moment.

Now it is the end of the holiday time for a while, but i am really pleased with all the things i've managed to get done in the last couple of weeks and really feel refreshed for it.

Not so long until the summer holidays. Joyful times are coming!

Yours in the sky with diamonds,
Lucy. xxx

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Greensleeves (and blue sleeves. and wedding sleeves)

There was a bit of a theme this weekend!

Despite being rather weary after a whole day of walking by the sea, i decided that I would put the evening to good use doing some drawing and working out. I am making two things at the moment from my own patterns, my blue designer rip off dress, and my green cable detailed (also rip off) cardigan - but was yet to work out the sleeves for either. I think i have a mental aversion to them as they always seem like the most difficult and labourious parts.

But I am pleased to have pushed on and look what i've done:

The sleeves for my dress are quite boxy and panelled so there are a few pieces for them.

I am pleased i have sorted that out as it was playing on my mind a little. And hopefully now i will be able to go ahead with some sewing tomorrow (bank holiday joy!) I only hope it works out as have only enough fabric left for one attempt (and failed to find any more in the shop!)

As i was in the swing and had sleeves on the brain, i also managed the knitting workings out...

I am really happy with the progress i have made with this knitting. I (finally) managed to work out a cable design I was pleased with and have now finished the back. Despite my thorough plan making, there was still quite a strong element of trial and error. But completing the back means that most things are worked out and the rest of the pieces should fall into place nicely.

I am wondering if perhaps i have sleeves on the brain because of this most beautiful dress:

the most beautiful dress

I was so joyful that day, and thought everything was so perfect. I was pleased it had a vintage feel as that is my favourite type of style. Kate was a vision - what a lovely wife she will be.

I am pleased to have this dressmaking pattern now... McCalls 1962 wedding dress suddenly seems much more current than before:

disintegrating a little!

Just to clear up the facts quickly incase you get the wrong end of the stick about it - I didn't buy this for the wedding dress, just for when i was a bridesmaid. I made one in navy blue for work too. it's rather a grand one.

I also just want to include this picture of the cake as well! Amazing! 

Yours going to try to stop thinking about the royal wedding now and do some knitting instead,
Lady Greensleeves (of cambridge),  xxx

ps. i also bought some hair tongs. i am kate middleton mad now.