Tag Archive: Holidays

As American As Apple Pie

Independence Day is almost here and it is time to break out the classic American recipes. Hot dogs and hamburgers are standard barbecue foods, but so it a delicious baked dessert to finish off the grilled feast. This week, the column features three simple pie recipes. The preparation time is limited, so it won’t keep you from enjoying the day with your friends and family. Each pie uses just enough sugar to bring out the natural sweetness in these fruits, without covering it up. Since these dessert are so easy to make, you may want to sprinkle a bit of sugar on your apron just to show how you slaved over a hot stove to bring a homemade pie to the table. * If you wish to opt for something quicker to prepare, try the Winter Fruit Salad.

Save the best for last with any of these pies. The American Apple Pie is sure to be a favorite at Fourth of July gatherings, but is equally perfect for a holiday feast during colder months. Each slice successfully boasts the natural flavor of fresh apple and the home-sweet-home taste of cinnamon. Kristen’s Key Lime Pie is easier than you could imagine, especially if you use a pre-made crust. Its refreshing flavor comes from the tangy juice of the key lime. Since fresh key limes are pricey and not readily available in all regions, you may choose to opt for the bottled juice. You won’t remember why you ever used cherry pie filling after you try the Very Cherry Pie. The ingredients work to bring out the natural flavors in the cherries and the result is a light and delicious dessert.

These desserts will bring new meaning to the phrase “Easy as Pie.”

The post As American As Apple Pie appeared first on EvinOK.

read more

Recipe for My Mom’s Baked Thanksgiving Dressing Balls, aka Stuffin’ Muffins

Holiday meals evoke different memories for different people, but nearly every memory has something to do with the meal itself. Whether you prefer turkey to ham or are all about the tofurkey, these two side dishes and one dessert will…

The post Recipe for My Mom’s Baked Thanksgiving Dressing Balls, aka Stuffin’ Muffins appeared first on EvinOK.

read more

I find the mystery genre disgusting. I hate being titillated.

Hello everyone! I hope that the early days of autumn (or spring, for those of you in the other hemisphere) are treating you well.I’m not too bad, myself. It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago. It fell on a Monday, which meant I was able to spend the…

read more

Vintage Holiday Feature

Ages ago I met an editor at Engaged Media (the publishing powerhouse behind vintage favorites such as Atomic Ranch and Flea Market Decor) and we talked about our apartment being featured in their special holiday issue, Vintage Holiday. However, we were house hunting, I believe we may have even made an offer on a house, […]

read more

Quilted Skull Pillow // Tutorial

Hi friends, I am sharing with you today a project I made wayyyy back in October of 2014 (please forgive any blurry photos). This is a fun quilted pillow project just in time for Halloween – The Quilted Skull Pillow. You […]

read more

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli.

Hello there! It’s been a while, I know, but the blogger part of me hasn’t died completely!

Anyway, I haven’t been up to much since I last blogged. I’ve been working and sewing as usual. Nic and I had a trip to Liverpool a few weeks ago, which thankfully coincided with a few sunny days in a sea of grey and rainy ones. We had a great time: Liverpool is an amazing city. We weren’t there for any particular reason, but it was perfect for a little change of scenery.

We stayed at the Pullman, and really enjoyed being based by the docks as there is so much to see and do down there. We even spent a happy hour on our last morning watching jellyfish in the marina – it was the first time Nic had ever seen jellyfish, and you could so easily miss them.

When we’re on holiday, I like to go on a ferry if one is available. Luckily, Liverpool has a ferry. It’s not very widely-known, so maybe someone should consider writing a song about it.

Waiting to board the ferry, dressed like a sailor

We visited some friends in Chester, went to Port Sunlight, went to a few museums, drank champagne in a Titanic-themed bar, visited the Metropolitan cathedral, ate pizza slices on Bold Street (repeatedly) and played some late-night indoor mini-golf:

I won, but Nic was a few pints ahead of me at each stage, so I had a slight advantage there.

It was a lovely week off, and we ended it with a flying visit from my dad. He was over for a few days for work and on the Friday we went to the Cotswolds for a few hours. We visited Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. The villages are charming, but Nic and I have been watching Children of the Stones, so it all felt a bit creepy to me. My dad thoroughly enjoyed himself, though.

Me and Daddy in Bourton. It’s very plain to see we’re related as we are BASICALLY IDENTICAL.

These have been some bright spots in what has otherwise been a very difficult few months. I’ve written before about my mental health, so I won’t labour the point, but this summer I’ve experienced intense anxiety, which has often been debilitating. It has taken all of my energy to keep doing the things I need to do – things like getting out of bed and eating and working – and it’s been very difficult. I have felt very tired of living. There have been some external stressors and some of it arises from the fact that I’m generally quite an anxious person anyway so this is something I’ll always need to deal with in one way or another.

Helping someone close to me through a problem that they were having made me realise that I needed to allow people to help me, and that it was okay to do that. So that’s what I’ve been doing and I’ve been looking into finding some professional help too. Something has started to shift and I feel more hopeful and positive than I have for a while. I have a lovely life and I want to be here, and I wanted to share this with you all because I know lots of you care about me. Thank you for caring.

That’s the update there. I’ve been sewing off and on, and over the unexpectedly sunny bank holiday weekend, Nic took some photos of a recently completed dress. The craic with this is that Sarah sent up the bat-signal to let me know that Textile Express were selling a fabric I’d been after for about three years:

I had seen a Ralph Lauren skirt made from this beautiful linen three years ago in TK Maxx and the fabric had been a bit of a unicorn since then, but here was Textile Express selling it for £6.50 a metre! I immediately bought three metres, which was just as well because they sold out within a few hours. Although summer is by now officially over, I had some hopes for a September Indian summer, so I decided to go ahead and sew it anyway. I was immediately rewarded with a beautiful, hot bank holiday weekend: winner!

The print is quite large, so I wanted a simple shape to show it off. For me, this means sewing an Emery dress and that is what I did.

Honoria dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt, worn with Swedish Hasbeens Suzanne sandals

I wasn’t sure whether to centre the big beach umbrella on the bodice. It seemed like the obvious thing initially, but when it came to cutting I didn’t want to sacrifice the surfers, so I made sure to get them both on the bodice. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of drape to it, so I used a box-pleated skirt rather than a gathered one. I love wearing pleated skirts and I am really thrilled with how this dress turned out.

I decided against wearing this with my Lou Taylor swimmers necklace this time, but I think they would be the perfect match!

This fabric really was an incredible find, especially for £6.50 per metre. The colour is beautiful and it’s of such lovely quality. I got so many compliments on the dress all day, and I felt great in it too. I’ve heard that it can still be found in some branches of Abakhan (although I didn’t see any when I was in the Liverpool branch a few weeks ago) so you might get lucky if you’re still looking for it. I’ll hopefully be able to wear the dress a few more times before packing it away for next spring, but often it’s nice to make a summer dress at the end of summer – something to look forward to for next year.

Here’s one for the folks at GOMI who think it’s obnoxious when I smile in photos. I must remember to try harder not to look too happy with my life.

I haven’t yet made plans for autumnal sewing, but I think I’m going to make a conscious effort to move away from my the blue colour palette I’ve unintentionally adopted this year. I bought some very Mildred Hubble-esque Paradigma boots in a local shoe shop that was closing down, so I’m thinking about what to sew to wear with them:

I don’t have a coherent autumn-winter plan, though, as I am also semi-seriously considering buying a ridiculous hot pink Ted Baker coat. I don’t need any more coats, but it is amazing. It won’t work with these boots, but I’m sure I could still make it work with something in my wardrobe…
The sun is shining now though, so right now I’m going to enjoy the rest of the summer as much as I can, which means going to a pub garden with some friends. Have a good weekend, everyone!
read more

July 19th. On this day, Galway liberated from Indians, Marathon becomes Snickers and… ah ha, Ted! Ice Age ends!

Ah hello there! And how are we all on this fine July afternoon? I’m grand – I have a cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot), Hannibal on in the background (S2, which is mostly not great but, you know, Mads…) and  I’m feeling pretty relaxed generally, havin…

read more

She’ll be a summer girl. She’ll have hair. She’ll have summer friends who know how to be outside. She’ll play tennis and wear dresses and have bare feet, and in the autumn I’ll ditch her because she’s my summer girl!

HOWDY PARTNERS. How is everyone? Mainly a little bit like this, perhaps?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really complaining about good weather. I wish that I didn’t have hay fever and that humidity didn’t make me swell up, but I’m happy about the warm weather, even if it makes it difficult to leave the house. There are numerous ways to cope.

The last time I wrote, we were about to go on holiday to Paris. We went, and it was awesome. We had ten days and were staying in the 17th arrondissement, in a beautiful Haussmann apartment next to Parc Monceau. I did a little bit of fabric shopping and we did some cultural and touristy stuff (we went to the Pompidou Centre and to the Musee de Montmartre) but mainly we spent the time pottering around, drinking champagne and people-watching. It was bliss.

Here’s me with a glass of Ruinart and a Cafe Gourmand on the Ile de la Cite, living my best life.

We had ten days of relaxation and beautiful weather and then we came home to horrendous rain, a General Election and the fucking DUP.  Despite having lost my faith in the Labour Party as a result of their generally quite crap performance as opposition, I was impressed and encouraged by their campaigning and it was an easy decision to vote Labour again. My constituency had been Tory since 2010, and our MP was a total no-mark waste of space, so I was genuinely delighted that the seat went red.

My dress let everyone know how I intended to vote.

Everything following the General Election has been pretty strange for a Northern Irish person living in England. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s been enraging hearing English people engage with Northern Irish politics at this stage in the game. It’s certainly been annoying to see people horrified at the idea of a coalition with the DUP on the basis of their policies (homophobic, sexist, dinosaur-denying) because this shit is nothing new. It’s just that it’s only of interest to people here when it affects them.

I’m not a nationalist, but that’s the background I come from. I grew up Catholic in a border village in Northern Ireland. I have little interest in a United Ireland, but I consider myself to be both Irish and Northern Irish rather than British. I live in England and I have no real intention of moving (although ten days in Paris made the daydream of a Parisian life even more appealing) but increasingly I feel like a stranger here, and never more keenly than when English people discuss Northern Ireland as if the Troubles were all of our own making and not, you know, as a direct result of England’s colonialist past. It’s been hard not to feel enraged all the time, I have to be honest, and difficult to know what to do with those feelings. I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear it if you try to talk politics and I’m sure that some of you won’t be comfortable with me talking about it here, but I’m not about to ignore it either. As the situation currently stands, the DUP – who have repeatedly blocked equal marriage in Northern Ireland, who oppose the Good Friday Agreement, whose leader is implicated in a scandal costing the Northern Irish taxpayer £400 million, whose intransigence caused the collapse of the power-sharing agreement and means that Northern Ireland still has no government – potentially have a stranglehold on a weakened minority government. There’s a reason that ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a curse, and we’re certainly living through those.

But anyway, you come for the dresses, I’m sure, so here is a dress. In fact, it’s the dress I wore to go and vote, and I made it… I think at the end of March. I took these photos in April, I think, and for some reason I really hated them. Looking at them now though, they’re not so bad:

Second Time Around dress – Butterick B6333 with a half-circle skirt, in Liberty Carline lawn, worn with Swedish Hasbeens ‘Suzanne’ sandals

ANOTHER B6333. Whatever, not sorry. I don’t think I have any more of these to blog about so next time you might get some fucking variety up in here (well, what passes for variety around here). Me oh my, I do love Carline, and my first shirt-dress was a M6696 in the red Carline poplin. I made it a few years ago now and the fit wasn’t brilliant, so I don’t wear it much. I still have it, because I’m oddly sentimental like that, but I don’t wear it. I chanced upon some of the lawn on ebay at some point last year and bought it. I didn’t have a shirt-dress in mind for it, but I was so happy with the How Can You Leave Me On My Own dress that I decided another one was in order.

I considered underlining this dress as Liberty tana lawn is so light and drapey, and I wondered if a bit of structure would be a good thing in a shirt-dress, but I decided against it in the end. This print is large enough and dark enough that it isn’t see-through, and I didn’t want to lose the essential coolness and breathability of the fabric. I think in these pictures I am wearing the dress with a slip as it was a little chilly, but I wore this dress in Paris without a slip (because it was so hot) and didn’t have any issues with it.
I made some self bias-binding to finish the armholes and face the hem. FUCK. ME. I think it might have been the most tedious thing I have ever done, and I regularly spend whole days checking numbers on giant spreadsheets. I mean, it was worth it (and I have loads left over) but the tedium of it made me angry. There are lots of tedious sewing jobs that I enjoy – I am one of those people who genuinely enjoys hand sewing and I even like sewing on buttons (I don’t like tracing, though, I’m not a pervert) but this was a bit too much even for me.
I love the dress and have worn it loads since I made it. In fact, I wore it to work yesterday! It came to Paris with me, and it was perfect for the very hot weather we enjoyed there.
Here I am, wearing it in Parc Monceau…
...and later the same day at Trocadero, with a minor monument in the background
I think this iteration of a Carline shirt-dress has a slightly more casual feel than the others I’ve made, but it is so comfortable and cute to wear. It’s been a winner. 
I don’t always explain where the names of my dresses come from. This one is obvious, and it’s also named after one of my top five episodes of Inspector Morse. For the sake of completeness, here is my list:
Second Time Around – the sadness of Kenneth Colley
Dead On Time – Oxford’s Next Top Widow

Death Is Now My Neighbour – Evil Richard Briers Is Now My Favourite

Deceived By Flight – Lewis’ hoose-painting leave interrupted by cricket
Masonic Mysteries – mysteries solved with inferior opera
read more

If I’m going to be white, don’t make me be Irish. That’s the worst one.

Hello! I actually started drafting this post earlier in the week, before the horrific attack on Manchester on Monday night. It does feel frivolous in one way to be posting about shoes and dresses and holidays but it’s important to. The attack on the Ar…

read more

In the South Land there’s a city

Mardi Gras was this past Tuesday and I totally use it as an excuse to Disneybound as Charlotte (one of my favorite, and slightly relatable characters) from The Princess and the Frog and eat loads of beignets and drink mint juleps at Disneyland. I also did another Charlotte parasol, this time featuring her party gown, […]

read more

Goodbye, 2016!

And HELLO, 2017! I’ll spare you reflections on 2016, and thoughts on 2017, because it’s all rather convoluted, and really not what this blog is about, so instead share with y’all what I wore for New Year’s Eve! This year we opted to go to Knott’s Berry Farm for their New Year’s Eve celebrations, and it was […]

read more

Christmas Day at Disneyland

Patrick and I went back to back with theme parks this Christmas, with Knott’s Berry Farm Christmas Eve and Disneyland Christmas Day. We enjoyed the beautiful sights and sounds of the holiday season throughout the park, from the garlands to the Dapper Dans, it was a beautiful sun filled Christmas Day. I won’t lie, I […]

read more

Your Cashmerette makes! Holiday Roundup

If there’s one thing that brings a smile to my face, it’s seeing women around the world wearing their Cashmerette Patterns garments – and it’s been doubly fun seeing all your creative and beautiful makes for the holidays! Let’s kick it off with three gorgeous Upton dresses: Tanya in lovely sateen, Pearl used a border {…Continue Reading}

The post Your Cashmerette makes! Holiday Roundup appeared first on Cashmerette.

read more

Christmas Eve at Knott’s

For Christmas Eve this year, Patrick and I spent the day at Knott’s Berry Farm. I bought two Christmas themed string ties at Joyride (the menswear counterpart to my favorite vintage clothing store, Elsewhere Vintage) recently, and I’ll admit the other one is way cooler than this one, but I just couldn’t create the perfect […]

read more

Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays 2016

Merry Christmas from our farm to yours. May you and yours have the happiest of holidays. We wish you all the best as we go into 2017. I look forward to sharing more with you as we continue on our journey of life, farming, making, creativity and color.&…

read more

Mistletoe & Holly

From our home to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays this season, and a lovely New Year!
Filed under: Holidays Tagged: 1960s, Christmas, holidays, vintage, vintage fashion, vintage style

read more

Some of the happiest moments of my life have been at Waitrose. I was recently asked where I would like my ashes to be scattered. I couldn’t think of anywhere other than Waitrose.

(Return of the Mack) Come on(Return of the Mack) Oh my God! (You know that I’ll be back) Here I am (Return of the Mack) Once again (Return of the Mack) Top of the world! (Return of the Mack) Watch my flow (You know that I’ll be back) Here I go Hi guys!…

read more

The Joy of Giving | Christmas Shopping with Pandora

I can hardly believe Christmas is just around the corner, and I am so excited to participate in the #REEDSfortheHolidays campaign sponsored by PANDORA at REEDS jewelers. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own! It never fails – the last few weeks of the Christmas season always seem to fly by, as […]

The post The Joy of Giving | Christmas Shopping with Pandora appeared first on Love Lola | A Life & Style Blog.

read more

Custom Hair Bows: Are They Worth The Price?

Are custom hair bows worth the price tag? For some of you, the answer will be a resounding yes! Personally, I learned how to make bows because the prices made me cringe. I try to stock less expensive options in my shop, as well as taking custom hair bow orders. Occasionally I write tutorials here […]

This awesome post Custom Hair Bows: Are They Worth The Price? appeared first on SewsNBows.

read more

Drink, anyone? Burgundy Appleton Dress

Next up in my festive Cashmerette wardrobe: it’s a burgundy Appleton Dress! (And if you want your own, you can pick it up as a kit here). As soon as I found this rich rayon jersey I was totally smitten, and although it was originally intended for the Turner Dress, I decided I needed an {…Continue Reading}

The post Drink, anyone? Burgundy Appleton Dress appeared first on Cashmerette.

read more

Rope Bowls / My Newest Obsession

Hi friends! For those of you that keep up with my work over on Instagram you might have noticed a few things other than quilts…. Rope bowls! Yes I know so completely random but I swear to you, keep reading […]

read more

The Best Holiday Gift Ideas for the LEGO Builder

If you have a LEGO builder on your holiday shopping list, you are probably looking for ideas! Here are The Best Holiday Gift Ideas for the LEGO Builder to help you get started. These ideas range from LEGO sets to ways to keep your LEGO’s organized! We hope you find some inspiration! It’s not always…

Read More »

The post The Best Holiday Gift Ideas for the LEGO Builder appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

read more

Holiday Gift Guide | For a quilter

  How is your holiday shopping going? This is a very stressful and joyous time of year. We hope that you are feeling the latter more! It’s also a cozy time of year and we put this gift guide together … Continue reading

read more

New Hair Bows in the shop!

Whoa, it’s been a while! Hello friends! Here are a few new hair bows in the shop. This one is my favorite! The looper ribbon says, “I wake up fabulous”. It’s a 5″ bow with your choice of clip or barrette. Personally, I wake up like a dump truck; but if you got it, flaunt […]

This awesome post New Hair Bows in the shop! appeared first on SewsNBows.

read more

Holiday Gift Guide | For a knitter

If you are shopping for a knitter this holiday season we put together this guide of presents that any knitter would love to have and would find useful. Enjoy! 1 | 2  This Loome Tool is great for making pom- … Continue reading

read more

Holiday Gift Guide | For a knitter

If you are shopping for a knitter this holiday season we put together this guide of presents that any knitter would love to have and would find useful. Enjoy! 1 | 2  This Loome Tool is great for making pom- … Continue reading

read more

Holiday Gift Guide | For a garment sewer

It’s time to get cozy with our families, friends and pets and celebrate the holidays!  The season we love for cookies, parties and gift giving! Gift giving can be stressful because if you are like me, and the rest of … Continue reading

read more

The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life!

foodiegifts4Do you have a foodie on your shopping list this year? I love getting and giving gifts for the kitchen or gifts that make my cooking a little bit easier. If you are looking for gifts like this, here are The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life! These gift ideas are not…

Read More »

The post The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life! appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

read more

The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life!

foodiegifts4Do you have a foodie on your shopping list this year? I love getting and giving gifts for the kitchen or gifts that make my cooking a little bit easier. If you are looking for gifts like this, here are The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life! These gift ideas are not…

Read More »

The post The Best Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life! appeared first on Kids Activities Blog.

read more

Quilted Advent Calendar Tutorial

Hi friends! Today I am super pumped to tell you some exciting news – I am a Janome Artisan! What this means is that I am test driving a Memory Craft 9400 machine, quite the upgrade from my Memory Craft […]

read more