Thursday, 30 July 2009

Crumby flat, great views

Beautiful sunset from the bathroom window this evening. Crumby flat, fantastic views:


9 hours of work

2 coffees, one with Janin

1 meet up arranged with friends

1 load of laundry (uniform - No purple blotches on my clothes, unlike when I used the colour-catcher sheet-the irony is not lost me)

1 pile of quilt squares - 103 in total now (32 to go)

A decision to paint the hallway and the banisters next weekend - hold me to this one; I really must get on and do it!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Pancake day

Well, sought of. I learnt to make crepes today at the restaurant. And mocha's. The crepes are probably my best achievement, along with mastering the milk frother, in a large part due to the fact I was on a quieter counter.

Aside from that I had cut out a large number of squares. I find the cutting out part of sewing quite dull, and although using a rotary cutter technically makes things quicker, it will be a while before I'm accurate when I use it. I seem to spend a long of time trimming and re-trimming my squares. I have yet to make a star or heart template that I'm happy with, but I'll keep trying. Sorry about the fluorescent colours, the lighting in my room doesn't make for great evening photo's.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Day off

I had today off as I was stupid enough to eat something with dairy in it at the weekend, all because I was too embarrassed to tell someone I couldn't eat butter. Silly pride.

I didn't have the sick line number for work so I had to go in and say I was too ill to be there, which was a little odd. I think I might be fighting off a cold as well.

My manager was very lovely and said to see how I felt tomorrow and give her a ring. I think I'll still be feeling rough, but I should be able to function. I feel bad taking time off when I've only worked there for a week.

So I came home, slept from 11,00 til 2.45pm and then had a sandwich, drank some sanpellegrino lemonade and then cut out quilt pieces till this evening. I caught out on bogs I hadn't for while, and I'm now thinking about bed. Already? It's not even ten, but I figure if I'm tired, God has programmed my body to tell me to sleep.

Maybe tomorrow I'll manage to post something interesting like Ellen's post today.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Creative Quilting

I got up at a reasonable time this morning, showered, skipped breakfast and picked up the bags of stuff for the charity shop. I headed out the door at about 9.20 and headed for the train station via the Cancer Research shop, flashed my young persons' card, bought a return to Hampton court station and went and sat on the platform for 20 minutes.

Creative quilting is nestled in the high street of West Mosley, just over the bridge from Hampton Court Palace. I only found out where it was via it's website but I must of walked past it a few times before.

Visiting this shop as someone who sews is like being a child is sweeter shop. The range of colours, buttons, ribbons, threads, tools and other oddments is enchanting.

I really enjoy visiting, but I don't go often because I always end up spending too much money! Now I have a sewing machine, I can finally attempt something I have always wanted to try: making a quilt for my bed. I spent two hours browsing and selecting co-ordinating fabric with the help of a lovely lady who seemed to have all the time in the world for me. She also helped me choose a rotary cutter, ruler and cutting board. These are pretty much essential - it's really hard to cut perfect pieces with scissors, goodness knows I've tried. Here's my haul:

I've never really used ready made patterns for anything I've sewn so I figured, why start now? Here's the pattern I came up with in the shop. I flicked through a number of books in the store to get composition and colour ideas, including two particulary beautiful books, 'Prairie Children and Their Quilts' by Kathleen Tracy, and 'The world as it should' by Anni Downs.

Before I can start any sewing I will need to cut out, starch and iron all my pieces. No sewing for a while then!!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Where are Stoppit and Tidyup when you need them?

I have today and tomorrow off, and days off mid-week always freak me out slightly. I inevitably stay in bed too late and then get up with a head ache. The head ache is nearly gone, probably aided by eating lunch and drinking some water.

My room has been in a dire state for sometime, so today was the day. I have put away 8 weeks (yep, 8) of clean laundry, sorted some stuff to go to the charity shop and thought about what my next sewing project would be. I would like to make some cushion covers for my friend and also a skirt for autumn. Because I have worn GAP clothes for so long, I really value being able to choose what I wear now. The clothes you wear must always be in season, which has meant recently buying new GAP clothing every four weeks! Some of there stuff is nice but it's quite samey and I'm rather bored of it.

Yesterday Janin convinced me to buy a new cardi from Cath Kidston that I had liked and was now in sale. I'm really pleased with it.

I also have my new sewing machine which I am VERY excited about. I have hand sewn for almost fifteen years, but before now lots of projects were out of the question because they would either take too long, or wouldn't be strongly enough sewn to last.

So far I have made new headscarf, and a pillow case to try it out.

I usually only use a running stitch or on rare occassions, blanket stitch, so I'm rather bowled over by the number of different stitches it does.

Sorry about the photo quality, it's really grey and miserable today, so trying to take photos on a phone was a bit of a nightmare!

Friday, 17 July 2009

If 'Cleanliness' is next to 'Godliness', you obviously don't know your ABC......

Some of us in our house struggle with keeping it clean. Some more than others.

Living in my current house is still much better than when I shared as a student; the Korean lads are pretty clean and tidy. I shall try and get a photo of the post-it above the hob: "Please keep clean, I'm begging you!!!" This is from one of the boys, not me. I guess it's one way of employing new vocabulary.

The general rule is that you clean up after yourself as soon as possible. I do my washing up, and occasionally other peoples. It's a great way to bless my brothers and sisters in Christ. But I'm not very organised, so there are days when I rush doing it before work so it isn't in the way all day, and so run out of time to eat brekka. Not so good.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

"Come home son, it's supper time; come home."

The immortal words of Johnny Cash. In 'Supper time' he's reminisces about his mother calling him in for dinner from the back steps of their family home. He also comments that it reminds him that one day, another will call to him from above "Come home son, it's supper time; come home."

Every time we eat it's a great opportunity to look back to that last meal Jesus had with his disciples, and to look forward to the great wedding feast when he returns. Paul reminds us: "For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." An echo of God's mercy and love, on average three times a day! Isn't that fantastic?

God knows us so well, and has found a way to gently remind of His love for us through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Home making

Okay, so those of you who know me are thinking, "House work? Clare? Are you sure?? Isn't her bedroom usually littered with piles of clean and dirty laundry, washing up and paper work?"

And you'd be right.

I've spent some time recently thinking about the topic of 'home making'. One dictionary defines it as "[The management of] a household." It sounds kind of dull, doesn't it? I thought so until fairly recently, when I realised that looking after a home can be a great way of serving the Lord, learning new skills and having a little fun along the way.

As a single person, one of the reasons I struggle with keeping things spick and span is that I have only myself to please. Or at least, I thought I did. Actually, that's a rather selfish outlook, considering I share a house with four others and have friends over fairly regularly. Without a living room, they're forced to sit (and sleep!) in my room. I do move the dirty underwear for them, you understand.

"14 For the LORD your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you." Deuteronomy 23:14

- Does that include dirty laundry? -eek! God isn't going to end his relationship with me because of the state of my house, but it is a way I can live to please him. Like a child and a parent, tidying my room won't make Him love me any more, but I think it would please Him.

I'm going post in chunks bits that I've been picking up that you might find helpful or just enjoy reading about. For me, it will be a way to spur me on. Procrastination is just poor discipline. Lack of discipline is just idleness by another name.

I leave you with this: If there was one thing you could change about the way you run your home, what would it be? This includes everything from finances, menu planning/shopping to laundry. Let me know.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Vit organics, Soho

I must lay bare now the fact that I am a die-hard carnivore. With this out of the way, may I introduce you to.....

VitaOrganics, Soho
(photo and review here)

74 Wardour Street, Soho
W1F 0TE London
tel: 0207 7348986

Mon-Sat 12am-11pm
Sun 12am-9pm

Vita-organics (V-O) is a delightful little cafe/diner in Soho. It's hidden at the bottom of Wardour Street, just off of Oxford Street. I probably wouldn't have discovered it if it hadn't of been for the 'Vegan London' website, despite the fact I have visited a music shop in the same street any number of times. V-O is

V-O serves food by the scoop, and the price varies by the time you visit, so eating in the evening is more than during the lunch period. You pay a service charge of £1 for a box to eat out or £1.80 for a plate to eat in, and then buy food by the scoop. All of this was patiently explained by the gentleman behind the counter despite the fact it was written in large letters on the wall behind him.

The menu is basically in front of you, large bowls of various dishes, and included vegan mushroom stroganoff, black bean magic, lentil dhal, rainbow chakra lentil, soups, spiced chickpea stew and vegetarian mousaka. There were many others, and there was a good range of both hot and cold foods.

The beverage list is also HUGE. Every type of soy and nut milk seemed to be available too, and vegan cream based iced lattes/frappa's. I am VERY excited.

I had vegetable biryani, black bean magic (with tofu) and another vegetable side dish that involved broccoli, cooked to perfection. I have never experienced a tofu based dish that I have wanted more of. And more. And more....

There were two things I particularly loved:
- I choose anything I liked off the menu without worrying too much what was in it. V-O avoids

Added sugars
Genetically modified food
Dairy products
Hybridised wheat
Processed salt
Artificial chemicals
Heated fats

-That I left knowing I had had a filling and nutritious lunch. And man, was it tasty! My only complaint was the fact that there was only one toilet, which is hidden in the basement, meaning I had to ask if it about its existence.

Service charge: £1.80
Three scoops of nom: £3
Freshly pressed apple juice: £1.80 (Drinks started from 80p)

Perfect food for a wet, autumny day.

Nom nom.


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