10 December 2016

Christmas stocking fillers for grand-parents!

*This post was written with the collaboration of Snapfish*

It has been a long time since I last posted...
If you are following me either on Instagram or Pinterest you could see that I have been fascinated by Christmas felt decorations... since like October! I absolutely love all about Christmas and since this Christmas will be quite hectic, I have been preparing in advance. I just didn’t quite manage to find the time to post about it here.

I love to gift handmade things, personally crafted and  lovingly wrapped in handmade gift boxes... This time around it has been a bit more difficult to achieve this as time is quite short, but I still managed to ‘make’ a few personal gifts this time around with Snapfish help.
For both my parents and in-laws my little one will be gifting photo gifts to memorialise fun times with grandparents! Snapfish has a large variety of photo gifts such as mugs, cushions or phone cases which  are quite easy to personalize for your chosen recipient...

For both grandmothers I decided to personalize a red-mug, and there are great vouchers available at the Snapfish website that you  an take advantage of, as the 2 for 1 Mugs promotion. So, do explore the deals and see which ones are the best ones to apply on your purchase...

This Christmas season I found myself drawn to the colours white, blue and red. I chose to personalise the red mug (red always feels Christmassy!) with my selected colours of blue and white:

With snappish you have a multitude of options for the mugs background, from colours to your selected photos... But I always have such fun playing around with the embellishments...! You can go full Christmas on the mug if you prefer to, but I wanted a mug that although felt Christmassy, could be used all year around, so I toned down the Christmas feel a bit.

I also love to get a homogeneous look for my Christmas gifts wrapping, and as I mentioned I am going for the blue-white tones this time around. I also like to save as much as possible so I am always raiding my craft box to see what is available to use....  I had assorted white ribbons and some silver and red crepe paper which I used to  wrap the mugs. I used the original box that they were delivered with, but before closing it I wrapped them in the red crepe paper:

Red on red... the inside of the gift could not be more Christmassy as it is!
And then it was a matter of having fun with the ribbons and the silver crepe paper! With some limited  ribbons and crepe paper you can have a variety of different gift wrappings.

And here are the mugs final look:

I cut a white and blue gift tag to add the grandparents name.... which will be written by my little one later on... that will be fun to do later on!
And how are your Christmas preparations going?

11 August 2016

Around here!

It has been a while since my last post...I have been incredibly per usually, but I have exciting news that I wish to share....:

Our little family is growing! 

Yes, we are expecting!
I am pregnant... The new baby is due by the end of December, which makes me 20 weeks pregnant already.  We are halfway through my pregnancy which seems crazy... ! So much has been happening in my life that I couldn’t share the news in my blog. I also wanted to share the news with some lovely pictures, but I could only manage the following which are a bit disappointing to be honest, but I will be sharing them anyway... I think that when sharing lovely wonderful news, visuals are needed!

I am so excited about my new pregnancy, but so anxious as well...! I am also worried about how our little one will be dealing with a new sibling. We dote him and he is so used to our undivided attention. We have been  letting him know gently about the new baby, pointing at my little bump and explaining that a baby is growing there. So we hope that he knows that a new baby is coming... He points at my bump and says ‘Baby’! And then he points at his tummy and says baby! We laugh and explain that the baby is inside my bump. So we are not sure that he actually understands that a new baby will be arriving...

I have more  news to share.... This will be such an hectic year. Besides having to finish my PhD this year (I have to submit my thesis by October) which means that I am working non stop on my thesis,  also the reason why my blog has been so quiet.....
I am also starting a part-time job...! This will not take much time from my PhD and will give me an opportunity to work on a different research project than my own. I am really excited about this!

And with all this happening, my creative life was affected. It is not that I am not thinking about any new projects, I do and lots! Its just managing to actually start and conclude some.... Still, I will try to share once they’re done...!
And I hope to share those soon here....

27 June 2016

My Monday Making: My first rag doll

It has been such a long time since I had some relative free time for some creative ventures.... Making a rag-doll it was on my to try list, and finally I made it.

Making this rag-doll was an excellent way to recycle some old t-shirts and fabric leftovers... and have lots of fun at it...!

Firstly I began by searching my fabric stash for cute fabrics for the dress.
I also draw  and cut the doll template from old newspapers:

I began by making the doll’s head:

For the doll’s head I used an old t-shirt fabric  for the face and felt for the hair. I created a pattern for the hair, and cut the felt for both front and back of the doll’s hair. I stitch the 'back hair 'together so it would look as side pigtails. I basted the front and back hair on the previous cut t-shirt following the pattern I made for the head.  I embroidered the front hair and then I saw both back and front together. Once stitched, I  then stuffed the head  and embroidered the doll’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Then I made the doll’s body...

Afterwards it was time to make a dress:

O also made some bows as hair pins.

I had so much fun creating and making this doll. As a little kid I always wanted a rag doll but never had one... I guess I am fulfilling  this as a grownup,  but better since I made it from scratch. I will later share the doll’s pattern for you to download.
Here’s another picture of the doll, although without having embroidered the mouth. I was undecided about how to make the little mouth, or even it should have one altogether...

In the end I eventually embroidered one...

I linked up with:

25 June 2016

Today’s Thoughts: We need to keep the European dream alive

European Union woke up to a new world on the 24th of June. The UK’s referendum results were out, and no doubts were left, UK decided to abandon the EU. Exit negotiations will soon begin.
After the referendum results,  new calls to leave the European Union started, from France and the Netherlands, both coming from far-right parties.

I will not say how disappointed I am about this decision, and how wrong I believe this decision to be. It was a decision that divided the UK, half wishing to remain and half urging to leave and regain sovereignity. However it is clear now that most British people believe that the best for the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union.

I am fearful for the future of the European Union. Nevertheless I still believe in the European Union and its Constitution, which promotes peace, combat social exclusion and discrimination, promotes social justice and protection, equality between men and women, solidarity between generations and protection for children’s rights.

These are the fundamental objectives to uphold within  the EU.

EU was created first and foremost as a project of peace in Europe, after two WW having started in this continent. And lets not be mistaken, the EU has undoubtedly contributed for the stability of Europe.  This was recognised in 2012, when EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize  “for over six decades having contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”.

Alongside this project of peace, EU promotes tolerance amongst its different cultures. It praises its own cultural diversity, which is valued. It drives on the freedom of movement of people and goods within its countries. Immigration is not feared, its valued.  When in school and throughout uni, I  lived in a climate where being an “European” was a reason for joy and proudness, more than to be part of a nation, one was European, a global citizen. I never felt that I was loosing my own nationality or traditions, I indeed felt that I could share them, as other Europeans would do the same. We were building a common ground of tolerance and multiculturalism. Where and when did we loose  this idea?

Nowadays Europe is living a xenophobia climate, an anti-immigration feeling which goes against the pillars which build this grand EU project. This anti-immigration feeling was plain to see the Referendum campaign which culminated with Brexit. I will not dwell on how wrong the Brexit campaign was in this matter. However I need to highlight how important is to regain the sentiment of tolerance. Precisely now is time to recover the notion of the European citizen, that values fraternity, tolerance and multiculturalism. The citizen that recognises the importance of  a networked Europe, and moreover fosters this notion.

Alongside tolerance, it is important to remember the EU achievements in fostering equality between women and men, which is one of its founding values.  It is interesting that the women’s rights were rarely  mentioned in either campaign, apart from Scottish campaign. EU legislation covers a multitude of areas to promote gender equality and women’s rights, from employment to private and family life.  Although recognising that inequalities still exist, the EU made significant progress and aims to continue to improve in areas such as women’s participation in labour market, economic independence and equality in leadership positions. Let’s not be mistaken, the EU has been a champion for women’s rights, and to be part of the EU ensures all women that a champion will still fight for their equality whilst maintaining those already achieved.  Honestly, I would not be surprised if Emmeline Pankhurst would support UK remaining in EU rather than leave, against what Priti Patel claims, since the EU is such a strong advocate of women’s rights. I am not the alone in believing this.

Sadly EU is not perfect, and surely theres more than room for improvement in such a large project. Criticism over an undemocratic EU were pouring in during this campaign. Nevertheless it is possible to find flaws in one of the oldest democratic system as the UK. This just proves that improving democracy, in any given society is still possible how could it not be in the EU? And lets recall that the EU has been reforming its structure and constitutional basis since its origin, 1948. I believe this one of the most weakest arguments to leave as it is clearly possible to improve  any of the EU fails when one is whiling to contribute. Nobody believes that an unifying Europe would be easy to accomplish, far less when it comprises a disparity of countries. But we must recognise the importance of debating  any difficult issue, and doing it so in the EU is the better way to do it, as once a consensus is reached it will definitely benefit all the countries that are part of this project.

Lets not forget Europe’s history.  Its wisdom. Not even its fails. Building upon our mistakes and learning from them its our strength.  I am hopeful that the outcome of such a shockwave like the UK’s referendum result will strength the Europe Union.  The aftermath of the referendum left many Brits regretting their vote.   There’s much to learn from this Europe. Learn from the disillusion of your citizens, from their desires. Let’s use what we’ve learned  to build a better and stronger European Union.
Together. Let’s keep the European Dream of a tolerant and cohere Europe alive.

05 June 2016

Especially for toddler’s little buds: chunky veggie chicken soup

If it is difficult for a grown up person to keep a well balanced diet, for a toddler it can be extra-difficult. Despite diversifying meals, preparing diverse salads and what else I remember to keep veggies on his meal... These same veggies are left behind.

But there’s a favourite entry of his, and that is soup, surprisingly enough. And soup is my easy way to keep these important  veggies and their nutrients on his meals. And if I can have protein, carbohydrates and veggies all in one dish, great... ! I will be sharing today a recipe that my little one loved, and so did I: chunky veggie chicken soup!
Nutritious and delicious all in one...:


Half head cauliflower
2 large carrots
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
100 mg shell pasta
1/2 chicken
1 chicken stock cube
2 soup spoon olive oil 

Season chunky bits of  chicken with pepper and salt to taste. In a saucepan fry the ground onion and garlic until golden.  Add the chicken and both carrots and cauliflower previously  cut in chunky bits, and fry for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock cube and water (around 1l) and bring the soup to the boil. Let it simmer until the veggies are tender. 
prepare the shell pasta, following the packet instructions. Once the shell pasta is cooked, add it to the soup and let it simmer together for a few minutes (around 5min or less).

Serve ...
...And if you wish to have an extra creamy soup, you can add either sour cream or double cream when serving. 

02 June 2016

Friday’s Thoughts: Tales of invisible children.

I am writing this post because  I was shown and read recently about a case that happened in Southampton no more than three months ago. A case where a newborn baby, merely 5 days old, was removed from the parents guard and that may be post to adoption (or might already have been adopted). Of course, parents are fighting with all their strength to get their baby back. I can’t possible imagine what these parents are going through. I simply can’t.

I have read so many news and have seen so many controversial (as this article about an Italian mother's c-section and its more comprehensive counter-part) articles on the media about Social Services and child care.  Naturally, getting the facts straight is difficult if not impossible when dealing with such sensitive situations. Nevertheless I still want to believe.
I want to believe that the UK has an honest and sensible Social Service at work.
I want to believe that the Social Services in Southampton are truly looking out for the best interest of the children living in their council.

It is terrifying to learn that a newborn can be removed from parents (and looking at past cases, even from the mother’s womb!), with apparently no reasonable or well backed up reason, or at least not known. One thing is to act and to ensure that all is well with a baby, to accompany and monitor the situation. Other thing entirely different is to permanently remove a child from the family care and place him/her for a closed adoption - a forced adoption.
I ask myself, do Social Services  have enough evidence to take this action?
What are the alleged reasons that could justify such extreme act?
But there’s no known answer. And the public will never know.

And this is the key factor of what is wrong with this current child protection system. All cases that involve children and go to Family Court happen behind closed doors, surrounded by secrecy,  and no-one will ever  learn the grounds behind these decisions which leave devastated families behind. Parents are gagged, and cannot tell their tales.
Social Services and the Child Protection System have all the power in these situations. Some may even go so far to claim that few Social Services cases are corrupted, files changed or go missing to back up their claim over the child.  A well known MP also states that parents never get an honest family trial and goes so far to recommend parents to flee the UK with their children if possible, once Social Services are activated. An underground network is already set to support families in these situations, to help them leave the country and start a new life abroad.  We end up reading about parents losing their children in the news, as this one or this similar story from before. But in fairness, the aftermath shown in the media only portraits one side of the story. The family side. We never get a chance to learn the side of the Social Services, and the whole truth is hidden behind the need for confidentiality’.  This  also prevents any scrutiny regarding Social Services proceedings, including finding of any real evidence of effectivity for these same actions. Any event has no accountability, in any way. 

It is  also well known the reason why Social Services may be so quick to remove a child from their parents care. They wish to prevent a tragic and heart-breaking case as Baby P. Social Services got persecuted and scrutenized in the media for failing Baby P. But we have to be cautious when attributing the blame, and even more when attempting to avert past mistakes. Policy changes and reforms when needed to happen have to consider  the realities and the complexities of the social work, and some claim that recent policy changes  have turned social workers into managers and away from the field work. Acting fast, although with weak evidence can only lead to disaster. Moreover when these measures are permanent and tear families apart.

Which brings me back to the first case I started to write about. A newborn baby was removed from his family care by the Southampton Social Services. I feel for the family, truly feel, nevertheless I don’t know the reasons claimed by the Social Services to act. I want to believe that there was a credible cause to proceed so radically. The family however claims that the reason behind the baby’s removal  are adoption targets that the Southampton Social Services may have to meet, which is also rewarded with fostering grants. However, these same targets are disputed by social workers, as a recent article also shows that adoption rates are falling due to court rulings.

Unfortunately, I will never know the truth behind this story. Until Social Services processes and Family Court are transparent, the public will never know. Nevertheless, and unarguably,  the UK shows a clear unbalanced situation in the child protection system, where state and professional workers have more power than parents but without accountability. It is also  known that United Kingdom is the only european country where forced adoption happens due to ‘risk of emotional abuse. If I understand, and completely agree that the welfare and well being of a child has to be paramount in any given situation, I also believe that any parent has the right to defend  their family in a fair, well-balanced and transparent system.

I can only hope that these invisible children, that are not known and whose family life is devised behind closed doors are truly given the best future possible. I just know that  parents and families are left distraught and feeling prejudiced.
Rightly so? I don’t know.

Want to know more?

Personal website about the social services policies and work through the eyes of a previous social worker: The Barefoot social worker blog
Dispatches episode which describes child protection procedures and practices in the social care institution :  Dispatches - The undercover social worker
Community web site about the Social  Services: Community Care

Documentary through parents’ perspective whose children were removed  by Social Services: Traffic
Documentary that exposes forced adoption cases: Exposure - Please don’t take my child

04 May 2016

Mummy and daddy's bed....

It has been far too long since my last post. I have been completely swamped in work and all my free time goes to my growing demanding toddler... So I am afraid that my blog has been suffering from my lack of time... I don’t even have time for my never ending projects...  Which unfortunately means no news in the creativity sphere of my life as well.

Nevertheless, I still have time to do some reading and today I will be posting about a text  I read long ago with which I immediately resonated with. It described 'co-sleeping', sweetly narrating the night excursions children do to reach their parents’ bed and the comfort found by both children and parents. 
It described the peaceful sleep offered by the  'magic' that lays on parents pillows that ease  little one's sleep and effortless drive away any hidden monsters....:

The parents' bed has a magnet and I believe (no one convinces me otherwise ) it has a soporific magic, a mysterious love powder imbibed on its pillows which makes the children fall asleep immediately and that drive away the worst of nightmares or the most tremulous night terror.
The parents' bed offer the last  refuge where peace is absolute.
Children arrive, driven  either by exhausted and lost parents or by their own two feet, sweaty and frightened, as little birds flying at night jostling through the halls until they reach the place of places. Two laps with soft sheets and the parents scent. They fall as robins asleep, appeased.
Parents pretend to mind the following morning : “ Again on our bed! When will you learn to overcome your fears and to sleep by yourself? You have to grow up! “ But they say all this without facing their children's eyes, so that the little ones don’t know that  with the brief return to the nest, the first crib,  parents are filled with love and tenderness and they are also comforted. A warm neck. A chubby hand in our hair. One returning foot  to the mother's rib. The quiet breathing on a shared pillow. The secret desire that this nest will last forever and that the following morning arrives late. That the mysterious love dust forever preserve these nocturnal excursions treats, that are no more than a clever foreshadowing of an immense longing, the best days of this life.

Translation from an original text by Rita Ferro Rodrigues. Find the original here

I am a mummy that is comforted by a chubby hand on my hair. A mummy that is sweetly waken in the morning by a little kiss. By a beautiful wide smile cheering me.
I am also a mummy that is waken in the middle of the night by a little foot gently squashing my stomach...

Would mummy and daddy sleep better alone? Maybe... 
And would we sleep better, alone,  if in the bedroom next door our little guy is disturbed and scared? Doubtfully.

In truth, I  don’t mind my little one’s night excursions that much...  Having my sleep troubled, and waking up certainly is exhausting, nevertheless I am comforted that our arms can settle him and ease him down. I am comforted by the notion that we can shield him from the cold night shadows. I am happy that he comes to us for this protection and warmth. That mummy and daddy are his safe haven.
I am happy to provide this solace. And as for us, tired parents from badly slept nights, I am also sure that these moments will be missed. As they grow up, these tender moments will never be enough...

They have time to grow up.
They soon will be facing and walking the world on their own. And then, if only mummy and daddy would be sufficient to guard him from all the uneasiness from the world...
For now I find solace in shielding from the known shadows through less rested nights.
It is the unsuspected ones  that keep me from a quiet sleep.

29 February 2016

Toddling around Southampton: The Riverside Park

At first sight Southampton might not be the most glamorous city, but don't be mislead, this little port city has many and varied hidden gems. Surely, it doesn't present the charm once owned in the past, but still has much to offer today.  I believe Southampton to be a great city to live in, especially if you have young children. Southampton has incredible green spaces and playgrounds are spread all around the city, so is fairly easy to find one and let your little one enjoy himself while you try to catch on some readings... Or just loose yourself and play with him!

Today I will de writing about one of my favourite spots to go with my toddler, let me introduce you to to a hidden jewel of Southampton: Riverside Park.

I have been living in the city for a couple years now, but only last year I discovered this incredible lovely  park, which as the name suggests, is located around the river, River Itchen. This urban park is quite large, 32 hectare of pure pleasure for all ages, it has playgrounds, one skate park, one golf course, cricket pitches, football pitches, tennis courts.... And if you enjoy long walks, I do recommend you to walk along the River Itchen from this park all the way to Winchester. Sure, is indeed a long walk, it will take you a whole day but you will certainly enjoy the beautiful scenery that the Itchen's riverside has to offer.

Anyways, I as about to tell how how much both I and the little one enjoy Riverside Park.  This park
has so much for the little one to enjoy!

And theres always a new finding to discover.... Today it was a new public art piece that was greeting us while we were adventuring the park. I first saw it in our morning walk, while crossing Cobden Bridge we could see silhouettes of a pack of birds lifting of a tree:

Its a beautiful piece made out of mirrors that reflect either the sky, the tree branches, the light...:

After admiring the piece we began our long walk by feeding the ducks, gulls and swans...

We are not the only ones who love to feed the different birds. Today we also enjoyed watching the feeding frenzy!
If its Sunday on Summer months the little one can have a train ride on the mini-railways managed by Southampton's Society of model engineers....

The first playground of the Riverside park is located right next to the mini railways. Although this one does not offer many  playsets for the little ones, theres a slide and my little guy just loves the slide. Today we've continued to walk along the river and just admired some slight changes in the riverscape, the meanders of the river hide and show little surprises that we both enjoy watching.

Its a great opportunity to teach the little ones about nature, landscape, the different birds,... We've found a robin today:

We then reached other playground. This one is my little one's favourite as it has more items that he can play with.

And here is usually where we end up staying for hours.... Well, today it was just until lunch time as this was our morning walk. I still have much to explore in the Riverside Park. This was only a small area of it. However, just for this tiny bit that we already know we just love it!

23 February 2016

Baking my very first swiss roll with my toddler!

Mondays are my most exhausting week days. Mondays are also my favourite day. 
On Mondays I stay at home with my little one.... Its just me and him. Some Mondays go better than others... Thats also means that on some Mondays  I am more imaginative than others.
It can be difficult to keep your little one occupied, and at the same time keeping up with all the things you have to do. It does mean that you have to do the things considering that you have an extra hand to help you out.... That extra help some times can be extremely helpful....

After all chores done, which as you can imagine were so very easily done between the two of us, we managed to get some free time to do some baking.... 

You could think that baking would not be an easy thing to do with a toddler around... Theres extra cleaning to do (plus the extra bit of your helpful hand), and its baking.... But, 

Baking means that we are both occupied. And we get a sweet thing to bite on later! And it can also be so much fun!
The little guy chose the recipe that we would be baking, (it was really fun seeing him flipping through the recipe book without ripping the pages...), and he decided that we would be baking a swiss roll:

It was my very first attempt to bake this, so I had no idea how this would work out.... I read several times the recipe at first and it seemed simple to follow up. I was also lucky because I had all the ingredients around.

And we started to prepare all we needed! One thing that I have noticed, he really likes to help me out ... He is quite good following up on what I say if he feels that is contributing somehow. Although I also noticed that there are some things that he prefers doing than others...

But when it comes to baking, he does have some fun with me, baking together...:

Some easy tasks he can do, bringing the ingredients to the counter top, and then  adding sugar, flour... In the beginning he was a bit scared with the sound from the cake mixer, but then he wanted to see everything.

This recipe does not need much time in the oven, just 10 min or less, which is quite good when you have an anxious toddler waiting for it!

In the meantime we were spreading the sugar for the roll...:

He was quite good at spreading the sugar.... So much fun,.... And so much cleaning to do afterwards... But hey, theres a swiss roll on the oven so, its all worth it!

And he was also good spreading the strawberry jam!

The rolling was the tricky part. It didn't go that well, we didn't achieve the rolling look as the book.... But it was quite tasty!
And this is it, the swiss roll!

I have to re-watch some of Mary Berry's tips on rolling.... I also failed to use the right form size, so my roll  was longer...

But I do enjoy baking with my little guy. And so does he. When we are both busy baking, that means that he doesn't  get to feel bored, or unsure with what he should be doing. And so am I. 
I get the sense that Mondays when we are both entertained things run much more smoothly. When he gets bored tantrums show up. Seems quite logic right?  But no so much when you have a screaming toddler around and you don't know what else to do... And trust me, the extra cleaning its worth the lack of tantrums.... at least for me....!

Going for another bite now...

09 February 2016

What I read: Strictly Between us

*This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are my own* 

I recently finished reading a book by Jane Fallon, “Strictly between us”, which was sent to me by Penguin Random House. By the way, thank you so much Penguin books! It was the very first time I ever read Jane Fallon and I was overall pleased with her story telling.This was a really easy novel to read, however, I am an avid reader, and since I was missing reading something as chick lit, far from any scientific book or scientific journal article (which  are my only reads lately),it may have been a huge factor in my appreciation...

The book is divided in four parts, though all part of the same plot.  The first part introduces us the main characters, best friends Tamsin and Michelle, and Tamsin’s assistant Bea. The second and third parts are all about the plot, which thickens, where we get to discover lies,some twists and more betrayals….  And finally, the fourth part, the conclusion and where we discover the different characters destinies.

This story is mostly about  two characters, Tamsin and Bea, which are complex and flawed. In the very beginning we learn about Tamsin’s betrayal. This could lead you to dislike Tamsin, the main character, however while reading the story I found myself cheering for Tamsin and whishing for her friendship with Michele to continue. Even though we know that Tamsin deceived Michele several times, we also learn how much she deeply cares about her. Its quite mind twisting!

What I really enjoyed about this book  is how Jane tells the story.  We get to unravel the plot through two different perspectives, firstly through Tamsin’s eyes, then Bea’s, and so on.  Every time  she switches perspective, a little piece of the story is discovered.  We get to learn how each characters feels about what is happening, through their own words,  their role in the storyline, their deceptions and reasons for it.

The reality is not always black and white, and this story clearly shows us this.  In Bea, we find an antagonistic character and while her duplicity might not be justifiable, I still felt for her,  as I knew why she was acting as she was.  Although I was not cheering for her as I was with Tamsin, still I did not dislike her terribly.  In the end, it was Tamsin who was responsible for the outcome, as she was the instigator of the situation that leads Bea to act as she did… Intricate situations played by flawed characters.

I also enjoyed the ending… Every character had a deserving conclusion. The ending was not fabulously happy for all characters as usually is, as it was not a terrible destiny for all antagonists….

Overall it was a good read, the novel is funny, lighthearted and if you are looking for a weekend (or afternoon) easy read I definitely recommend it.

The book is available to purchase online through amazon:

as other retailers as well.

27 January 2016

My ATC is done!

And already sent!

As usually, it was done at the last minute, even though I already knew what I would be making over a month. You might know, through my last post, that my inspiration was a winter drawing that I made. Although a few bits were still unclear (how I would be making the snow and the owls wings), I knew that I would be embroidering most of it, as I did in the end.

For the main bodies I used felt appliqué but to represent wings and feather I  did a simple backstitch for mummy owl wings, although with various threads. For baby owl I used satin stitch. I used a second appliqué for the owl's tummy, and again to give a sense of feathers I used feather stitch.

The owls eyes were really funny to make. Again, appliqué with some embroidering. For mummy owl I used French knot for both eyes, and back stitch for baby owl's eyes.

I decided to use seed stitch to represent snow. The tree was simplest to make, appliqué with running stitch.
I had to hurry a bit towards the end, 

but I still managed to do some embroidery on the back:

It’s already on its way…so now is a matter of learning how my swap partner feels about my little work!

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