Some Chicago Love

Dear Laura,

A couple of months ago I went to chicago for the day for work. As soon as I stepped out of the metro my neck craned up suddenly as I was surrounded by these amazing skyscrapers. The architecture was astounding, every building is different and every building is beautiful. Had I known this is what Chicago was like I might have tried to stay a little longer but alas I had my return ticket in my hand for that afternoon. But I vowed to go back and see this rather extraordinary city again.

Luckily for me it is really quite easy to go to Chicago from DC and so last weekend R and I went off to the city I was desperate to have a proper look around. It was completely worth it and what an amazing city it is.

Lots of Love



Summer Evening Salsa

Dear Laura,

There is nothing I like more than sitting outside in the evenings warmth, watching the bees with a glass of fizzy wine and devouring a plate of salsa and chips. All summer I have being making bucket loads of the stuff and I don't intend to stop anytime soon.

Yum! Mountains of salsa just for me, to be honest it really is, I put it out, R gets about one chip full and I have eaten the whole bowl before he can go in for more, I might even be spotted drinking the remnants and all that delicious juice before washing everything up.

Here is my recipe:
1 red onion
1 red chili pepper
1 bunch of coriander
3 limes
6 tomatoes
a pinch of salt
a pinch of sugar

Finely chop the red onion, tomatoes and the chili pepper. I have heard the the hottest part of the chili pepper is the white bit that holds the seeds on, I usually remove this along with the seeds but if you want some more heat then add it all in. Mix together in a bowl. Squeeze in the juice of the 3 limes, chop up the coriander leaves and add to the mix. Add salt to season and a pinch of sugar and mix it all together.

Lots of love



picking up the needles

Dear Annie,

Hello stranger!

I'm sorry for my long absence from the blog. Since baby E arrived at the end of May, I have touched neither knitting needles nor sewing machine. Other than photography, my creative mojo seemed to have completely disappeared. Even in the few moments that I managed to snatch for myself in the day,(whisper it...) I just didn't feel like crafting. 

I must confess to feeling rather alarmed by this- I don't remember it happening with the other two boys, although perhaps it did. Having chatted on Twitter to Kat and Libby, however, it seems that I am not alone. Perhaps when you have a new baby, you channel all your creative energies into them, or perhaps it's just the lack of sleep, I don't know.

Luckily, it was a temporary state of affairs, and a fortnight ago, when we set off for holiday, I reached for a long forgotten unfinished project- my Starsign Shawl. It felt so good to have the needles back in my hands again, and although the shawl is still far from finished, it was a start. I'm finding my creative feet again, one stitch at a time. Thank you for keeping the blog going in my absence. I've loved reading about all your wonderful crafty adventures.

Love from,



Cushions Made From Bags

Dear Laura,

For my birthday this year you gave me a beautiful bag, it was too beautiful for me to use it and so I thought I might frame it. Then I had a flash of inspiration, what if I made it into a cushion, then I could look at it all day everyday. Perfect! I has also purchased a bag on my trip to San Francisco which I really liked. So this morning, I got my machine out and whipped up two cushions in no time, most of the work is already done which is a big bonus. They now sit on my sofa in pride of place and will make me smile everyday.

Lots of love


p.s. I am writing a tutorial on how to do this which you can see above, not that this is remotely complicated but if you've never sewn before it might help (if I can make it work!) 


Crocodiles in San Francisco

Dear Laura,

Last week I went to San Francisco, I love it there. Actually I was lucky enough to have some work meetings in Berkeley and so I got to stay with some very good friends and their tiny new baby and less tiny little boy. It was so much fun. As you know, I like to make gifts for children and babies and I had just bought this awesome crocodile fabric so I decided to make some little jimmy jams for the new baby and some summer shorts for their little boy. 

Now I have a confession to make. I finally relented and bought a pattern. My first pattern and this was not any old pattern it is a series of patterns I believe will do me well forever. Dana over at Made has a series of children's shorts patterns for ages 6 months to 10 years! This is great, the only trouble I ever really have with making things for children is I have no idea how big they are so with these patterns I will be able to make PJs and shorts forever for everyone with the hope that they might actually fit.

A little babies hand 

And some delicious food, if there is one thing Berkeley has it is delicious food

I was too busy eating and chatting and cuddling babies to take photos of the kiddie winks in their shorts and PJs but they seemed to fit and I have a new confidence in making lots more in the future.

Lots of love


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