Monday, 27 May 2013

Inheritance Spent

You may recall that my MIL left me some money in her will.  A little bit of money, just for me.  I've been struggling to decide what to spend it on.  Like most mums,  I am used to spending money on the family or the house, so trying to decide how to spend it on me has been difficult.

Well, at Easter my mum, unwittingly, solved the problem.  As I was borrowing her sewing machine for the upteenth time in 20 years, she said

"Why don't you buy your own sewing machine?"

and I replied,

"Because I borrow yours!"

To be honest, it hadn't even occcurred to me to buy my own maching, I just borrow my mum's.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought this was a good idea.  I would have a machine readily available in the house; I wouldn't have to arrange to use my mum's.  I would probably use it a lot more if it were easy to get hold of.  Also, sewing machines have moved on since my mum's old Singer (it does straight stitch, zig zag and 4 step buttonholes) so it may encourage me to branch out and do something new.

So I did a bit of reasearch, mithered the Textile teacher at school and then went off to John Lewis on Saturday morning.  The sales assistant was incredibly helpful, and, having been sewing for nearly 50 years herself, very knowledgeable.

So I plumped.

For this one:

I love it!

It's so clever.

It knows to finish with the needle in the fabric, it does lock stitches and overcasting.

It does buttonholes in one step, to the exact size of your button!

It does fancy embroidery stitches, 

The feet fall off and clip on (no need to screw them in).

You can limit the speed of the stitching, like cruise control.

The bobbin goes in on the top of the arm, not underneath, so you can see when it's running low.

It can even thread its own needle!

(Very important now that my near sight is going)

In about 15 minutes I was fully proficient.

Within two hours I had made this:

which daughter thinks is "cool".

Daughter wanted a go, so I helped her to make a matching skirt for Georgina the Giraffe:

  Here she is modelling the skirt in the kitchen:

(Note the fancy stitches around the hem)

I think we'll be making a lot more 'Working Mum Originals' in the future.

Thank you, Reen.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Foodies Festival Fun

Yes, I did ignore my hubsand's ridiculous comment about the cost of tickets to the Foodies Festival, went ahead and ordered them and yesterday we wrapped up in our waterproofs and braved the wintery weather (in May!) to go to Tatton Park and enjoy a full day of food!

We bought all sorts of yummy things produced by independent food producers like pies from Pie Minister and Andrew Jones Pork Pies, who I was delighted to learn now supplies my local butcher.

I encountered some wonderful new flavours and bought a bottle of Rhubarb and Rose Cordial from Mr Fitzpatrick's Cordials, and gorgeous chocolate with foraged ingredients from Sciolti Botanical Chocolates.  I even bought some Battenburg Fudge from Tom's Fudge which looked just like a slice of Battenberg and I was going to photograph for the blog, but it didn't last long enough!

Best of all I found Ginger's Comfort Emporium:

which I had seen in the Good Food Magazine and was hoping would be there.  Despite the 10 degree temperature and the drizzle I had to have one and I have to say her Plum Crumble Ice Cream was to die for!  I will be scouring Chorlton for her this summer!

We went to a children's cookery class where daughter made butter, tomato soup and carbon dioxide and we went to Emilly Ladybird's demo of how to make Gin and Tonic Cupcakes taken from her up and coming Steampunk Tea Party cookbook. Steampunk cookery; very entertaining!

We also went to a Coeur de Xocolat chocolate tasting session which gave me the funniest moment of the day.  After looking at, touching and smelling the chocolate, we were instructed to listen to the chocolate.  We all dutifully held the chocolate to our ears and the instructor asked,

"What is it saying?"

I swear, to a man, every woman in the place said ............

"Eat me!"

We had a great day out and we've come home with lots of lovely things to eat.  

And it didn't cost £300!


Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Double Standards?

On Saturday, you may recall, hubby and daughter went to Wembley to see City lose the FA Cup.  It cost £115 per ticket plus petrol to Wembley and back, say....... £300.  (I'm trying not to think about it)

Well, this Saturday is the Foodies Festival at Tatton Park.

"Shall I get us tickets?" I asked hubby, "Children under 12 go free"

"How much are adults?"  he asked.

"£12 each", I replied.

"That's a bit steep" he said.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Day to Myself

It's not often it happens, but yesterday it did.  Hubby and daughter, along with a few friends, set of for Wembley for the FA Cup Final:

(We won't mention the score)

So what did I do while they were away?

Well, I pottered about the house for bit tidying and doing washing.  Then I nipped to the Post Office to post a package.  Then, I went in search of a fabric shop I had heard about:

I found Leon's Fabrics in Chorlton, which was a fabulous place, packed with loads of different fabrics and very helpful staff.  I just enjoyed looking through all their stock and I found some fabric that might be good for daughter's Victorian costume.

I came home to have a peaceful lunch, on my own.

Made a batch of fudge.  

As you do.

Then, it was time to head off into Manchester for a rehearsal for a concert.

Between rehearsal and concert I had a meal out with members of the choir. 

Good food, good conversation.

Then, after the concert, I came home to...................

(and this is the best bit)

.............. a neat and tidy house exactly as I had left it!!

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sew far, sew good!

Calm has descended on the Working Mum household. I've got through the last four, very busy weeks and now I can relax a little.  Daughter's birthday is done and two of my classes have now gone on study leave, giving me a little more breathing space. 

I have a concert next Saturday, but with hubby taking daughter to "Wemberleee" for the FA Cup Final, I'll have the day to myself to wander around Manchester and have a pleasant meal with the choir between rehearsal and concert.

And this weekend, this Bank Holiday, extra long weekend, I had nothing planned!

A whole three days of not having to do anything (except daughter's homework and piano practice of course, oh, and the washing, ironing and cleaning, but that's just normal stuff) so, inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee I decided that I would revamp a couple of plain cardigans.

Here's my plain purple one:

And here's daughter's plain pink one:

A quick trip to Dunelm Mill yielded some braid, sequins, buttons and thread:

Now, the really hard bit:  

Find a place to hide in the house where no one will mither you, take a cup of tea, a Miss Marple DVD and a few chocolates to keep you going.  Then, a couple of hours later.............

Voila, new cardis!