Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Some Beauty Queen beauties are underway!

If you've been following me on Facebook or Instagram you'll have seen that my new fabrics arrived.. 12 bolts of Sisboom Jennifer Paganelli gorgeousness from her Beauty Queen range.. and they are even more breath taking in person than I ever imagined!!

They were almost too lovely to cut into.. well almost ;) as I've now been making quite a big dent in them getting ready for my next etsy shop update. 

I have 7 stunning flutter sleeve & ruffled hem maxi dresses underway - one in every size going from age 2 to 9/10yrs! I will be posting photos of all the dresses when they're finished with details of when the shop update will be - for now though I'll leave you with a few sneak previews :) 
Don't they look gorgeous?!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

WOW! Time really flies! I can hardly believe it's our 3rd Canada Day here since our move over from the UK :) 

We're looking forward to catching up with friends later and our awesome Bridgetown Firework display at dusk. 

For breakfast it felt like a pancake and local maple syrup kind of day. I use my own really easy recipe & made a double batch as it's always handy to have left overs for later...

So before I whip up my pot luck dish for later I thought I'd share my pancake recipe with you all that I had to modify after our move to Canada as my British one didn't work as well due to differences in baking powder and flour. 

Happy Canada Day ❤️ and hope you enjoy them!

200g Unbleached Flour
200g Milk - I use 3.25% (full fat for my UK followers)
3 Large eggs (use an extra if they're small)
35g Natural cane sugar or light golden colour sugar
23g baking powder ( I use Magic Baking Powder by Kraft 

Put all the ingredients in one bowl and mix together thoroughly using a whisk until lump free. I find a whisk does this task much faster and easier than a wooden spoon.. If you do have the odd lump here and there it won't matter too much! 

To cook
Use a large flat frying pan or griddle & smear with a little oil if you need it (I spread a little coconut oil on my pan as it's old and not so non stick these days). Set your heat to a low to medium setting..  we have an electric cooker so I usually set one of my large rings to 5 to start with then turn it down to 3 when it gets going. If you have a gas hob you get better instant heat so should be able to start at a lower temp straight away.

Put your pan on the heat for a minute or 2 to heat up and then spoon a small amount of your thick pancake batter into the center of your pan. When you start to see bubbles forming on the surface of your pancake.. Flip it over carefully with a flat kitchen spatula. When the pancake starts to rise and balloon/dome up it is cooked all the way through & time to transfer to your plate to eat with your choice of topping or just as it is! 

NB. I usually find after making this first pancake the pan has achieved a good temperature and I can spoon 3 or 4 individual pancakes into the pan at once to speed up production :)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My new fabrics are coming soon!

Well I took the plunge and filled out the wholesale account forms.. so I'm now excitedly waiting on 12 bolts of this gorgeous fabric range to arrive... 
Thankfully there's plenty of work to keep me busy before it all arrives.. drafting patterns for my new adults clothing range  in between making everything from Nova Scotia tartan full aprons, frilly pettiskirts & mini hair elastics :)

It won't be long now until I reveal the designs for summer dresses & skirts I've been sketching and if you comment below saying what your favourite item of summer clothing is... You never know I may just make it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Market season has started!

I'm back at the Annapolis Royal Farmers and traders market for another season and in pretty much my same spot as last year opposite the wharf and King's Theatre

It was a glorious sunny and warm day for our first market of the season on the 17th May & lovely seeing new faces and regulars again. 

The market is open 8am - 1pm every Saturday opposite the wharf in Annapolis Royal and has everything from jewelry, cards, baked goods, maple syrup, hot food & fresh fruit and veg & more!

If you fancy a day trip to the valley it's definitely worth a visit!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mini Mystery Knit-A-Long wk2

I hope you've been enjoying the 2 part mini mystery knit-a-long! 

I've updated the pattern on ravelry with the remaining half of the pattern so now you can find out what you've been making! When you click on "free Ravelry download" it will give you a choice of two files to download... wk 1 is still there for those that still want to start the mini mystery knit-a-long & the new file called MM KaL wk1 2.pdf which contains both wk 1 & wk 2. 
Click here to download pattern files from Ravelry now.

I won't post any photos on here yet as I know quite a few of you are working through week one and I don't want to spoil the surprise... but next week I will post photos of the ones i've finished!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A mini mystery Knit-A-Long

Only 2 more weeks are left of my intermediate knitters class at the Firefly Makery so I thought it would be fun to finish with a mini mystery KAL (knit a long). 

It's a small knitted in the round project that uses a few cables & some other mystery stitches or techniques :) 

You can join in the fun for the 2 part mini mystery knit-a-long right away by downloading part one of the free pattern on Ravelry... Just click here to go to the pattern page on ravelry 
Part 2 of my FREE mini mystery knit-a-long pdf will be uploaded to ravelry next week wednesday 7th May 2014!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Pattern testing for Handmaiden's Cottage :)

I love the gorgeous patterns by Lynn of Handmaiden's Cottage & a few weeks ago I was delighted to find in my inbox an email asking me if I would be interested in testing the new PDF pattern she's working on as she needed another size 5yrs tester. After checking with her when the deadline for finishing it would be I instantly said yes please! 

I had no idea what the pattern was going to be like but as I already have a fair number of her patterns & others on my wish list I knew whatever it turned out to be that I & our G were going to love it.

The pattern turned out to be for a delightful patchwork dress called "Little Gypsy Queen". It has a very twirly skirt, an attached sash and lovely elasticated ruffly collar. It is a super easy pull on style with no fastenings & instantly our G was excited. When I told her that she would get to keep this dress as it was a pattern test & not an order - her excitement had her squealing with delight.

I knew the dress was going to need at least 5 different fabrics to bring out the patchwork style so we went through my current stash of fabrics together to choose what I'd be using to make it. We decided on 3 of my Dena Designs Kumari Garden fabrics and 2 Riley Blake fabrics that all mixed and matched beautifully. For the collar and sash I used some gorgeous cream coloured cotton sateen to give the dress an extra special luxurious touch.

Then came the difficult part... I needed to send Lynn photos of our G modelling the dress to give her an idea of how it fit along with my feedback. Lighting is always best for photos outside and if it was summer heading outside to do summery dress photos would be no problem.. but it's April and spring has been very tardy arriving here in Nova Scotia this year. So I had a dilemma.. going outside for good photos and braving some cold or staying inside where it's warm. Thankfully last Friday afternoon the weather was briefly kind and the sun came out for a brief moment.. it was still on the cool side but warm enough to dash outside for a quick photo shoot. A week later and today we're back to winter temps of 1c and snow so I'm grateful the test deadline was not this week!

When my big fabric order comes in next month I shall be adding this style of dress to my etsy shop.. so check back here or keep an eye on my FB page for future announcements :)

P.S. you can find Handmaiden's Cottage on facebook here -

Emily Ocker's Circular cast on

This week my intermediate knitters class was a challenging one for my students! They were learning how to do Emily Ocker's circular cast on. If you haven't tried it yet - It's a fantastic cast on for starting any of those in the round patterns that start from the center out or top down like hats or circular shawls but it can be quite tricky until you get the hang of it!
I knew the cast on and learning how to do increases in the round would be difficult for everyone to get to grips with so I designed a small stash busting pattern for a center out circular coaster. It's only 12 rounds long - so just long enough to learn the techniques and get some instant gratification from finishing a quick project! 

Click here to download the FREE pattern from Ravelry and give it a go! 

P.S. If you fancy trying a top down simple adult hat that uses this cast on instead - I have FREE hat pattern here on Ravelry too :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Download my latest FREE knitting patterns

Have you spotted my other new free knitting patterns on ravelry yet? For the last few weeks I have been teaching an intermediate knitting class at the Firefly Makery here in Bridgetown. The techniques we're covering are:- Knitting with 2 colours to make stripes, slip stitch & fair-isle patterns. Knitting in the round by magic loop going bottom up straight and also from the center radiating out & lastly knitting cables, twisted stitches & a few other bits n bobs along the way.


For everyone to learn these new techniques I've been designing small projects that can be completed in just an hour or 2 & give plenty of instant satisfaction on finishing something new. Above you'll see 3 of the free patterns i've added to ravelry for download so far and over the next few weeks I will be adding some more!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

New giveaway is live!

I couldn't resist and have joined lovely Lori Alley of Alleyway Photography 
in her latest giveaway.. which is now live by the way!!

Go get entered now at <3 

The winner in 11 days time will get to choose either $225 in cash or a kindle! 

UPDATE : - 22nd April 2014
Congratulations to Candy Carney Navarrette our giveaway winner!
Entry #7106Candy C. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Free pdf pattern - my stitch sampler neck warmer

Just popping on to let you all know I've just uploaded the pdf of the pattern I designed for my beginner knitters class onto (click here to download it from ravelry)

I decided to make it a FREE pattern so you can all enjoy making them & It uses just one ball of Baby's first super bulky cotton/acrylic so it knits up fast!

Even though it's supposed to be spring here in Nova Scotia we still have plenty of snow so a neck warmer is still needed for a while yet unfortunately.. So have fun knitting & send some of your warm spring weather our way if you have it!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Teacher Appreciation Week

It was teacher appreciation week here last week. Every day each grade of our sons elementary school made sure they organised a nice treat for the teachers.. plenty of yummy cakes and cookies and snacks etc. It's not something we do in the UK and I think it's a lovely way of showing how much we appreciate all that they do. On the final day of the week we do a small gift - last year it was a little mason jar filled with chocolate eggs with a special tag saying "Thanks to you i'm going to be 'eggstremely' smart". I was organizing it again this year and thought i'd do something slightly different and a bit more practical as although chocolate is great - it doesn't last very long! I liked the idea of making a personalized bookmark which could also be the gift tag. I set to work figuring out what to say on the bookmark and playing around with fonts and colours & I love how it turned out!
After doing the bookmark - the idea for the gift just fell into place... each parcel contained a lovely patterned cover hardcover notebook, a pack of fancy patterned pencils, a packet of smarties and the bookmark. Our youngest had a great time helping me put them all together and placing a handy finger on the knots so I could tie the bows <3

Just in case anyone fancies using the bookmark - I have uploaded the bookmark files to Google Drive so you can download and print them yourself :)

The .png image file for the single bookmark on its own as above is here and the .png image file with 5 bookmarks laid out on a page as below (should work in both A4 and letter size paper) is here . There's plenty of room for you to add the teachers name at the top or just use it as they are!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Celebration GIVEAWAY ❤️

Earlier this week I realized I'd all of a sudden gone past 200 sales in my Etsy shop.
Definitely an excuse to celebrate so I'm doing a giveaway! 

Giveaway ends 5th March 2014 so don't forget to head over to my Facebook page before then to enter (link below)

*** Please note the Celebration Giveaway is over ***

Friday, February 14, 2014

A New Look!

I suddenly realized that my last hair cut had been before we moved to Nova Scotia... it     had been a Christmas present in December 2011! WOW time really does fly by! 

This got me thinking about how I've been stuck in a rut with my hair style for much longer than that... in fact for even longer ago than these photos were taken but those old ones are not digital & in a box in the attic somewhere.
                                     2005                      2007                           2009                               2011

SO earlier this week I made an appointment & Thursday lunchtime off I went for a trim. Of course I completely forgot to take a before photo of how long my hair had got.. but this photo on the left from when we went trick & treating last October with today's on the right will give you an idea... I had at least 6-8 inches chopped off YAY!

Now 6-8 inches may not sound like a very big change but it makes a huge difference.. My new shorter (to me) hair feels so much lighter. It's much easier to de-tangle & also means I can have some fun trying out a new look - a 1950s retro up-do. This one was surprisingly fast to do so you may see me out and about with it like this for a while ;) 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Wild Weather Wednesdays!

Snow storms here at the moment definitely have a favourite day of the week! For the last 3 weeks in a row we've had a midweek snow storm.. so in our house we've renamed this midweek day as 'Wild Weather Wednesday'. This last dumping of snow was quite fluffy which has made for some very picturesque scenes about our town.

I may not have noticed that every storm was arriving on Wednesday's but for the fact that since the beginning of January 2014 I have been teaching a beginner knitters course at the Firefly Makery here in Bridgetown on Wednesday evenings. These wild weather Wednesdays have given us some hazardous driving conditions.. so our class unfortunately has had to be re-scheduled twice in the last 3 wks.  Despite these delays everyone has been doing great with their knitting! So far they've learnt how to cast on, knit, purl, increase/decrease stitches, pick up dropped stitches, neaten edges, make button holes and cast off.

Although disappointing to have the weather interfere with our class over the last few weeks.. there is always a silver lining.. a bit more practice knitting time before starting the stitch sampler neck warmer I designed for our class project :) Hopefully next week will break the wild weather Wednesday trend though as I can't wait to see how everyone's neck warmers are turning out!

Thursday, January 30, 2014


I haven't been allowing myself to use my sewing machine and serger at the moment... why?! Well quite simply put.. because I have to organize my workroom, update my website(s), stock take and finish my end of year accounts. I know if I start using my machines then I say I'll do accounts tomorrow & then it'll be the day after & then next week etc.. so the only incentive that works for me is no sewing until they're done. It's been a hard task to stick to though!

One of my favourite pattern designers had an awesome one day sale on her patterns this month & another was looking for testers to sew up their next top secret designs and give feedback. I so very nearly caved in on the last one but I'm proud to say that I resisted. Mind you, the sneak preview photos of what they had needed to be tested has had me groaning and totally green with envy! 

Of course the temptations & distractions didn't stop there.. My favourite fabric designer has been posting sneak previews of her new fabric range available in May.. which means all I want to do is dream and work out what I want to sew with it! 

Then we've also had a fair amount of snow days this month & unfortunately the vomit goblin also paid our whole family a visit one by one.. so with both our children off school or us being poorly I wasn't able to concentrate fully. 

Thankfully though the end is in sight & I'm almost finished.. which means I'll soon get to order new fabrics and sew up some of those new patterns.. yes I caved on the one day sale - that was just too hard to resist lol :)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

From thaw to freeze...

This time last week we were enjoying an unusual thaw.. It felt almost like spring! It was a welcome break from the minus -C temperatures and severe wind chill.
Of course we knew it wouldn't last and we didn't have to wait very long for more snow.. which our 2 children are thoroughly delighted about! 

Yesterday brought a big snow storm which closed all the schools in our area & today too as there's just so much snow to clear. We awoke this morning to a thick white blanket of about 12 inches with even deeper snow banks created by the plows when clearing the roads. 

We do have a path somewhere under there!

An hour or so later... AhHa, found it!

Snow days in NS mean having lots of outdoor snow fun with our 2 children & I do love having them both at home for these extra days off. One drawback though is my work time - which does get badly affected. My to do list is currently growing rather than shrinking and I think it might continue doing that for a while yet as it's still snowing outside... ❄️⛄️❄️

Friday, January 10, 2014

January is selfish knitting month!

Well the holidays passed in the blink of an eye didn't they?! All of a sudden it was the first Monday in January & our eldest was happily going back to school delighted to catch up with all of his friends. Our youngest on the other hand was sad.. she misses her brother greatly when he goes back to school especially when she still has another couple of weeks until her kindergarten starts again.

With snow on the ground & temperatures decidedly brrrrr with added negative wind chill.. playing outside has been in short bursts while wearing multiple layers of snow gear at the moment. So indoor play has mostly filled this week.. Lego building, art/crafts, having friends over to play & helping me organize & sort my supplies has kept us busy during the day.

After both are tucked up in bed and fast asleep I'm getting a chance to use my Christmas present... 7 skeins of squishy yummy merino yarns. I'm knitting something I've had at #1 in my ravelry queue for over a year now.. these thrummed mittens by Tanis & they're going to be for me! Rarely do I knit something for myself these days so I'm thoroughly enjoying my selfish evening knitting. I'm delighted with how they're coming along and love how the thrums make little POPs of colour amongst the dark purple.

 And the inside is just wild lol! 

Thrums are usually made of roving which is much thicker than my worsted weight yarn.. so i'm using 3 strands of yarn to make each my thrums & fortunately they're working great! 

So how has your 2014 been so far..  Have you been trying anything new or making plans for this year?