Sunday, 27 October 2013

This weekend

... has not been about sewing, but then it never is!

I did do some "making", however!

Small Boy is incredibly excited about Hallowe'en! I blame nursery as they've had decorations up all week. Any Americans reading this will be thinking "yup, and what?", however, here in the UK, Hallowe'en has previously only really been about the actual day - with perhaps a party on the closest weekend. In Scotland in particular (and possibly all of the UK, but I can only speak for the area where I grew up), as a child, Hallowe'en, involved "guising" (essentially the same idea as trick or treating) and a turnip lantern, usually with a string handle - yup that's right, my dad would carve out a raw turnip - a million times harder than your softy, easy-scoop pumpkins!! I suppose that was because we didn't really have pumpkins in the shops in the 70's and 80's, whereas turnips have always been fairly plentiful here. Lucky us! Incidentally, parties (for kids at least) predominantly featured "ducking for apples" (fishing apples out of a basin of water, using only your teeth) and "treacle scones" (bread like scones, liberally coated with treacle, hung from a string, the aim being to take a bite; again with hands behind your back). The scones were usually immediately followed by trying to eat a smartie from the top of a mound of flour (again no hands), so the flour stuck to the treacle on your face! You were then sent home a treacly, floury mess, this usually being on top of smeared witch/fairy/cat face painting!

Anyway, here now, as with all things, Hallowe'en is now becoming more Americanised (I don't have a problem with that, but nor do I think we should give up our own customs in favour of another culture's...) with decorations, pumpkins, Indian corn etc

In order to get into the spirit, I decided to carve my boy a pumpkin. He chose the face (Google has some great ideas), and I got to work. It's meant to be Caspar the Friendly Ghost, but it looks a bit more surprised and upset!

We also bought a couple of small edible pumpkins, used above as props, but later this afternoon the medium sized one became pumpkin and orange-flavoured-chocolate bread! Delicious! The recipe is from the Green & Black recipe book (so the choc is meant to be Mayan Gold).

Yesterday was about new things. I finally spent my vouchers that I won at work recently, and treated us to an iPad! It's only an iPad2, the most basic you can get, but still, really cool and it's had so much use already! In fact I am writing this post on it, just to see if I can. So far so good, although I can't touch type on it, and I will need to finish it off on the laptop so I can upload my photos. Most of the time I read blogs, and surf Pinterest on my phone, but the iPad is so much easier for this - and far quicker than my old iPhone3. My only gripe is the Bloglovin app. On some blogs I can't comment. I have the issue on my phone but presumed it was my old phone (don't have IOS 7 on there) but actually apparently this is a fault with the app itself! Seems like a fairly major oversight if you ask me, and one that is particularly frustrating, so I may look to switch readers at some point, if I find another that works better.

The other new thing is that I have new hair!

Photo quality on iPad not great either, apparently.
I have been considering a fringe for a while now, and finally built up the courage to go for it! It's looking good so far because I still haven't washed it, but I like it. Tomorrow may be a different story when I try to blow dry it myself! I think I would have preferred it to be slightly heavier, but I am probably as well to get used to it for a while then decide for my next haircut.

And finally my sewing table! Sewing has been quiet recently, due to other time and energy sapping activities, but I am currently working on another Scout, which is being sewn in order to procrastinate on the coat I have promised myself I will finish this year! My coat was one of the first posts I wrote on this blog. You can see the details here. Last year I managed as far as cutting the lining, then I became overwhelmed at the thought of cutting the main fabric; the thought of ruining it too daunting. But this year I need to do it! Just as soon as I'm finished this Scout!


  1. Turnip lanterns? I'm hoping to do pumpkin carving with the boys. Using the filling for cake is ingenious. I so know what your talking about re: cutting into nice fabric. Most of my makes are made from old curtains! I've bought lovely fabric and it's washed, ironed and ready to go but I'm just so nervous of ruining it- I need to practice my sewing some more first, though I am getting a lot better. Lovely hair cut BTW. Louise

    1. Cutting is always the most nerve wracking bit. With my particular fabric, I will need to do pattern matching, which is even scarier (and worse, I didn't think to buy a bit extra, just in case!). I'm sure you will be fine with your fabric, just choose something simple, like a solid, or a pattern that doesn't need matching - you dont need that extra stress when starting out!

  2. First of all - I love your hair! It's always scary to try a new style, but it looks great! The first iPad I bought (so long ago it didn't even have a camera) was with award money from work. I used it every day and just last month replaced it with a new one. I know you're going to love yours. I haven't gotten any sewing in this past week and am a bit cranky about that. Good luck with your coat - I'm sure it will come out beautifully.

    1. Thanks Shar. Yes, I love the iPad already. It's really addictive, even if I dont need to do anything on it, I find myself with it in my hand anyway!

      I hope you are right about the coat! Need to get moving with it though. It's getting cold here now!

  3. Oh yes, Halloween will always be about the smell of turnip burnt burnt by a candle! Love the new hair!

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who remembers the turnip! :)

  4. LOVE your hair! It really suits you :) And that's some mean pumpkin carving there; well done you! I'm sure your small boy must have loved it. I can't begin to imagine how one would successfully carve a turnip....
    Good luck with your coat! You'll make it beautifully :)

    1. Thank you! :) My pumpkin last year was MUCH more impressive (it was a cat) but I didn't have the time this year, plus we bought a much smaller pumpkin, which in retrospect makes it harder to carve!

      I imagine with the turnip there were probably a lot of spoons with bent handles...



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