Wednesday, May 25, 2005


St Pauls and Millenium Bridge
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Things have been busy lately (or perhaps less quiet) with a little flurry of visitors. David arrived from Perth last week and has been staying on and off. He wins the perfect houseguest award by buying groceries, cooking divine dinners while actually staying with other people most of the time!

On Saturday K&P and I went out to Heathrow to pick up the folks. It was very exciting to see them again (it was only since Christmas for me, but a year and a half for K&P). They had a good flight (as good as 24 hours on a jet can be) and gave Malaysian Airways the thumbs up.

And I have been exhausted since as they have been in incredible form! My visions of relaxing on Sunday were dashed immediately – we were out the door by 10 and off to the Tate Modern (my favourite London gallery of the ones I’ve seen i.e. about three), lunch at a pub at Southbank with views of the city across the river and then some shopping at Covent Garden. Jetlag. What’s that?!!. Then this week they have been leaving the house with me in the morning and sightseeing all day. That pre trip fitness campaign was a little too effective I think. I’m getting a bit worried what energetic activities we’ll be doing for the upcoming long weekend in Wales.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Back-Tack Bundle

Back-Tack Bundle
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

The parcel from my secret buddy arrived yesterday. Some bright happy fabric and lovely embellishments to work with. Now I have to get to designing!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Loitering at Buckingham Palace

Loitering at Buckingham Palace
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

This is a bit of a belated update on last weekend. The batchelorette flat stood up to round one of the visitors well. Everyone arrived on Friday night and after several rounds of bedtime stories the kids finally went to sleep in their new sleeping bags. And after several rounds of vodkas the grown ups went to sleep on their air mattresses.

For the big excursion on Saturday, Georgia wanted to see where the queen lived and Sam wanted to make sure Big Ben was still in one piece after it was destroyed on a recent episode of Doctor Who.

After an exciting train and tube ride and TWO stops for drinks and snacks we made it to Buckingham Palace. Sam’s assessment: "Its boring! Can we go home now?". Me: "No!". We piled into a black London Taxi (good) swung by Big Ben (no comment), had pizza for lunch (consumed with gusto) and finally made it to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The flying car was a big hit and Sam only asked twice during the performance if we could go home now.

Happy Birthday Robbo!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

suprise meeting

This morning as I was walking across the concourse at Victoria from train to tube I literally ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for about 5 years as she was making a beeline for the exit. It was such a coincidence as I don't normally go that way but was heading to a client instead of the office.

I worked in a coffee shop in Whistler with Anita and then we both ended up in London and became running buddies. She was to blame (credit) for conning (encouraging) me into doing the New York marathon. So great to see her – she’s now married and working for a charity – hopefully we will live up to our promises of meeting up soon.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Hooray! Claire has put the MOS gallery up and more than a few others had the idea of recycled felted sweaters!! Talk about a collective consciousness (or something)! And there is at least one other dinosaur too by Fiona– which is much more adventurous and 3D than my (usual – see the elephant) 2 legged cop-out.

I think this one by Camilla Engman is my favourite although its really impossible to choose. But just look at her dog with the monster….have you ever seen anything so gorgeous and soulful as this puppy!?? I just keep looking at the pictures and smiling then sighing (ie doing a ‘Pam’).

Anyway I'm about to race home (as far as you can race on the Thameslink) to meet some other little monsters, doh I mean angels.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Going to London to Visit the Queen

We have the lovely H family coming to stay this weekend – four adults and two little kids in the bachelorette flat! This evening will be spent removing the empty wine bottles from the kitchen and a general whiz around to make the place presentable. I don’t really know what to expect with the kids. Or more to the point what they will expect (I think Little G is just hoping the Queen will pop over for some cucumber sandwiches in the afternoon though). I have a strange urge to go out and buy some rubber ducks for the bath. But instead bought some extra bedding (boring…but useful).

The highlight of the weekend will be going to see the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang …some trivia for the Australian readers …with Jason Donovan playing one of the lead roles.

Actually, one of my colleagues said he saw the Queen drive past today as he was out and about near her pad. And yes, she was wearing a hat. (And no, she wasn’t actually driving herself just in a car).

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Presents and Quilts

My first back-tacker buddy has her fabric winging its way to her in Japan as we speak. Hope she likes it. There is a little parcel headed to Brissie for a special May birthday too. You know who you are.

Last night I made good progress on the May Flowers quilt – all the squares are now sewn – just need to be pieced together. Big simple patches are very quick to do - definitely the way forward! Its going to be baby sized – but not new-born sized like the Little Houses Quilt. I will be very happy when my patchwork gear (cutting board, rotary cutter and rulers) arrive with Mum& Dad in a couple of weeks. I think it will dramatically improve speed and accuracy of these projects – the old ruler and scissors is a bit dodge – but I like to think it gives it the “home made” look.

Of course that’s not the only reason I’ll be glad to see Mum and Dad – can’t wait for them to visit. We have a summer full of activities planned.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

May flowers sneak preview

May flowers sneak preview
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

The beginnings of my May flowers creation....

Chilling out at Tone Dale House

The Corporate weekend was fab – great laid back venue and nice sunny weather. I was a bit under the weather on Saturday though (disgraceful) – but am still maintaining it was due to stuffy hot bedroom and not over consumption of alcohol.

When I finally emerged mid morning I knew immediately that the recruitment girls were kindred spirits. Shunning all planned activities they had laid out rugs on the lawn, gathered copious amounts of crisps and chocolate and huge stacks of trashy mags. They proceeded to sunbake, flick and gossip all day. Now that’s a great weekend away.

We did manage to rouse ourselves in time to make an appearance of helping with dinner. We were in charge of goats cheese and tapenade puff pasty parcels. Dinner was amazing – fresh oysters as promised, pastry parcels, several legs of roast lamb with bean ragout, chocolate pudding and the most amazing cheese platter I’ve ever seen. Yum.

Chilling out at Tone Dale House
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Somerset (south west of London)

There is a bit of a buzz in the air at work today and everyone is wearing jeans and cas clothes (special occasions only). The reason for the excitement is the ‘Corporate Weekend’. A treat for the staff of a weekend away AND with the bonus of no boring rah-rah meetings. Hurrah!

We’re heading off to “Tone Dale House” in Somerset for some Walking (with a capital W apparently, not just walking around willy nilly), horse riding (after much discussion about who can ride, who can’t and what size horse is required) and the boss is cooking the meals for the weekend. I was a bit sceptical about this at first but was reassured when he went around the office asking for dietary requirements including ‘do you eat oysters?’ (?!!) before nipping off to Borough Market for the organic food.

We are sharing rooms and I was wondering if as the new girl I’d be stuck with the woman who sent around the email saying she didn’t mind sharing with anyone who wasn’t bothered by her snoring!! Luckily Val was thinking the same thing so I will be spared that experience.

PS: By the way, I now know that Somerset is no where near Suffolk, for those I told I was going to somewhere north east of London. So think of the opposite direction from Suffolk and that’s where we’ll be!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Flower Garden

It seems this blog is rapidly turning into a craft blog with my current obsessions of quilts and softies. I can’t see it changing any time soon.

I’m now mulling over the May theme for MOS – looove florals any any excuse to use them. And you can’t get much more floral than Cath Kidston’s fabrics. Although that Amy Butler does give her a run for her money. I’m thinking about doing a quilt using some of the Cath Kidston fabric but just not sure if it might be a bit much – they’re quite big prints not the usual petite country style cotton numbers, and almost canvassy in texture. But doing something non-trad definitely appeals. I’m kind of imagining a riotous garden effect…..

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Sunny bank holiday

I came back from Frankfurt quite early yesterday as it wasn’t a public holiday there and I didn’t fancy hanging around without any one to play with.

It was a gorgeous day in London and I popped into town with the aim of getting some suitable fabric for the back-tack swap and having a general mosey around a previously unexplored area. I ended up finding some fabulous material from a very hip designer store…but I can’t say any more than that at this stage as it’s meant to be an anonymous donation. I can only say I hope the recipient likes it as much as me!

Then I went home and had a refreshingly cool G&T in my sunny kitchen studio and made some little cousins for Danny the Dinosaur. You can see him here meeting his Irish cousin Declan the Dinosaur and his German second-cousin once removed Dieter.

Danny Dinosaur meets his cousins
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.