Friday, September 30, 2005

Back in London-town

I'm sitting in an internet cafe and have just had a blog-spree - a weeks worth of crafty blogs to catch up on - bit of a treat.

The reason I'm sitting in an internet cafe is the eternal optimism of Steve that he will finish work quickly. Optimistic yet completely unrealistic. But I never learn and am always convinced that this time it will be true. "I'll be finished in half an hour" (I had to really try not to laugh at that one, mentally adding an hour). ..."I'll be finished by four MAX". Its now 5:46pm and lets just say, thank goodness for those crafty blogs.

Unfortunately he has had to go to work this afternoon, although lucky low-powered me is left to float around on her last day of holidays, shopping at Borough Markets for some organic veg and slowly come back to earth after a fab trip to New York and cooking course with Delia Smith (in Norwich not NY in case that's confusing!). More on all of that when I get my pics downloaded on Monday.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Kath Kidston Tea-towel Apron

Kath Kidston Tea-towl Apron
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Here is my tea towl apron contribution for Amy's Tie One On. Of course as soon as I saw 'Tea Towel' I instantly thought Kath Kidston (just for something different). I gave one to my friend Robbo and she refuses to use it for anything other than decoration. They are works of art really. I don't usually wear aprons for cooking at home and putting this on last night, tying it around the front reminded me so strongly of my waitressing days. Happily now well behind me. It almost made me reach for my waiters friend....oh yeah ...I do that most nights anyway.

I tried pretty unsuccessfully to take a photo of me wearing it but resorted to a 'styled on the bed' approach.

And made just in time before we head of to NYC tomorrow!! yipeee! See y'all next week.

Tie One On
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


About half the women in our office are on the Atkins diet. As a result the kitchen has a permanent smell of grilling bacon. Which is a disaster for the other half of us on the low GI diet as the smell is enough to make anyone’s stomach rumble no matter how much baked sweet potato or brown rice you’ve just eaten.

I say “us” in the very loosest sense as I am incapable of following any strict diet. So as a result, after a year of not exercising and eating curry every second night (in the spirit of fitting into English culture) I’ve discovered that I’ve been stuck with the Heathrow injection. How cruel. And it seems that just thinking about eating less doesn’t count (I do that quite a lot). It looks like there’s nothing for it but to join a yoga class. Then I’ll be doing some exercise and be more zen about not eating greasy delicious food.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Knitting stuff

This is really just for my Secret Pal - Hi there!

You can see the questionnaire I did for SP5 here and not very much has changed except now I've been knitting for 3 months and have progressed to a new project - more baby stuff. And my foot size is a slightly awkward 42 (for shoe shopping anyway...most of the time they don't get in the way...too much). One of these days I might work up to making adult sized things. But not just yet.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Auf Wiedersehen

This week, before a weeks holiday, an exciting trip to New York and some other fun stuff is going veeerrryyy slooowwwwly. I am thinking about how after the holiday things are going to be different. Smithy will be back from Frankfurt for good, routines will change and hopefully we'll have more time to do things we really want to do rather than spending way too many Friday and Sunday evenings at airpots. I'll have less excuses not to do those things. Although I'm a bit foggy about what they might be at the moment. But very excited.

Kirst and Phil are staying with me this week, doing the final things that need to be done before moving countries, saying goodbye to friends, selling their car (to us ...Yay!). And for some reason a hell of a lot of washing?!! Anyway.

And I've realised that after a steady stream of visitors from home all year that there are no more people coming to stay on the immediate horizon. Its amazing how many people have been over, Mum, Dad, Suze, Steve's mum Lynn, Jo M, David B, and Jo S - one night only but what a great night (hopefully haven't forgotten too many). I've had my cupboards rearranged, tupperware bought (and many other implements my kitchen seemed to be lacking), taken out for dinner and been on some great trips around the place. I've also accumulated some random stuff that wouldn't fit in suitcases and A LOT of electrical conversion plugs. But now the last of the suitcases that have been a permanent feature in my flat since about May are about to be packed and I'm feeling a bit sad. But imagine that extra floor space.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Secret Pal goodies

Secret Pal goodies
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Here is another great parcel from my lovely (not so) Secret Pal, Mary. Some lovely rowan cotton rope and a great collection of needles. Its funny how similar the colours are to the ones I've just bought for the twins. As you can see I have started to use my new needles for the jumper sleeve and they are, as advertised, speedy. And lighter than the ones I've been using.

And I love the little labels read my mind Mary...I've been thinking about making some since I got a parcel from Bella Dia with her fab personalised stationary

Hand Made
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

very cool - for future projects.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Happy Birthday LSF

I never thought I'd keep this up for a year! I just had a look over entries from the beginning and it makes me feel a bit strange to think how much life has changed in a year.

I started out as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. I know some friends are regulars and some aren't but it makes me feel more connected with home especially when I get comments or emails about things I've written. And without LSF there are people I never would have been in contact with or inspired by. I probably wouldn't have discovered knitting again or got such great ideas for quilts and other fabulous things people are making out there.

Am looking forward to seeing what happens over the following year!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Twins knitting project

Twins baby knits
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Libby and Pete's new twins Amelia and Francesca are going to score matching contrasting (is that possible?!) beanie and jumper sets in this cotton yarn. I have chosen a simpler pattern than my first project ....a very basic boatneck jumper. And as a result I'm making huge progress with them. I had many hours on the train over the last two days on a trip up to Newcastle for work.

I even had a couple of unexpected extra hours yesterday thanks to "complete signal failure in the Darlington region". Our three hour trip took five but I was sitting near some very entertaining people who were intriged by my knitting. The husband of the middle aged Aussie couple from Melbourne volunteered, "I hope you don't mind me saying...but its very weird seeing someone your age knitting!". (I'm not sure what he thought my age was :)) As I explained the rise and rise of stitch & bitch and that such groups actually existed in London their eyes grew rounder and I felt like I was describing a strange cult. Then the BBC producer sitting opposite(on his way to some BAFTA premiere he didn't hesitate to share with us) confirmed my story, adding his sighting of the Circle Line knitters group. The woman opposite me started chatting too and revealed she is Jennie Erdal, the author of a book - Ghosting. It sounds like a good read and I was asking way too many questions about the writing process and her current novel.

I actually went to a knitting group for the first time on Saturday and had a great time meeting Pauline and co. Although it felt pretty weird knitting in the pub with my larger shandy. But it was great to put a face to a first meeting of a real live blogger ...kind of weird meeting someone you know a lot about, but only for a few minutes.

Francesca's Beanie
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

I made this up on the weekend and love cute... but I have a question ...the pattern says to do them on regular needles and sew it up....but could I do it on circulars and avoid the seam without any problems?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

woo hoo!!

When Smithy comes back to London in a couple of weeks to live with me in domestic harmony and bliss we're going to take a week off....and today we booked flights to New York.

I'm thinking total tourist...Central Park, Empire State, Museums, eating and drinking in fabulous places and of course shopping (have to take advantage of the exchange rate).

As you can probably tell I'm a bit excited.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Had a girls night out on the town with Mum and K last night - pre-theatre Italian in the West End before going to Guys and Dolls. Ewan McGegor is the big drawcard and definitely had the star presence but Jane Krakowski completely stole the show. Fab show and lots of fun.

Monday, September 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Loobylu's month of softies theme for September - "Personal Challenge" is encouraging me to return to a project I started 2 years ago and haven't touched for almost that long. Initial progress was at a cracking pace but came to an abrupt halt when I moved to Frankfurt. But now I have the makings, a sewing machine, a little bit of time and no excuses. I think piecing together the bulk of a queen sized quilt top in a month may be a little more than a challenge but I'm going to give it a try to see how far I can get with it. A deadline may do wonders for my inertia on this.

Its a pattern from my teacher in Brisbane called tessalated pinwheels - a background of greys with highlights of pinks, plums, yellow and green (quite a bold colour combo choice for me). I think the overall effect will be quite starry.

Related to that is the challenge to NOT buy a fortune's worth of Kaffe Fasset fabric (this month at least) after buying two of his books recently. I'm so inspired by the colours and simple patterns and I have ideas for about 5 quilts bubbling away.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Baby Cardy

Baby Cardy
Originally uploaded by Hells Bells.

Finally, after many months of knitting and about three nights of finishing trying to put it together and hide about a million ends (I had a very productive evening last night with Super Nanny, Lost and a glass of vino) ....this is the result of my first knitting project. Ta da!!

(just don't look too closely....)

...and I thought a little baby item wouldn't take long!! Ha!! And then Mum rings to tell me how she's whipped one up in a!!!