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You can’t possibly eat Santa’s face

6 Dec

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Number 2 has just reached a certain state of maturity (age 4) at which this occurs to him…. “I can’t eat the face!” We reply “But it’s just a gingerbread man. You always eat it all up.” But Secondo cannot be persuaded. He has turned on a dime from bloodthirsty thug on a testosterone high into sensitive soul. Waitrose’s seasonally themed gingerbread range are always a source of pleasure in our house. But this is the first time they’ve sparked a philosophical debate.

Barbie… but on my terms

12 Sep

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Meet ladylike Barbie. She cost £7 but arrived looking like, well, a bit of a slut. Mattel could so so much better. I made this dress for her so she is presentable. I then put her back in the box and resealed it. Hoping ‘Prima’ won’t know the difference. Can’t do much about her vital statistics though. I have given in to Barbie but feel the change of clothes is meaningful. The reason I have given in is precisely because of the clothes in fact… It was because I made things for our Barbie and Sindy when I was a kid that I taught myself to make at all. And I managed to come away without any freaky body issues. Notes to Mattel… Give the girl some pants, cut her hair properly so it’s not all different lengths, give her some decent clothes that cover her ****…
…Do you think Number 1 will consent to me making some more couture pieces?

Seventies childhood

16 Jul

20130716-131654.jpgThanks to my mum, who saved seemingly everything, my kids are having a very seventies childhood. They know who the Flumps and Bagpuss are, and can sing the ‘Two little girls’ and ‘Three of these things belong together’ songs from early Sesame Street … Not only that… they wear all the clothes we did as kids (tartan skirts, Brierleys of Blackburn dresses, French jersey pedal pushers) and those that I have made are quite often upcycled from vintage pillowcases etc. Of course they have all the toys and books too. Tidying up just now we fell in love all over again with this illustrated fairy story book by Hutchings Studio (Gordon Hutchings?) for St Michael (as all M&S goods were then labelled). I love David Weidman and Hanna Barbera too and these are in the same general drift don’t you think?

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Hey Spidey!

7 Jul


Happy birthday Number 2!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies.
Look out! Here comes the Spiderman.

Is he strong? Listen bud—
He’s got radioactive blood.
Can he swing from a thread?
Take a look overhead.
Hey there! There goes the Spiderman.

In the chill of the night,
At the scene of the crime,
Like a streak of light,
He arrives just in time!

Spiderman, Spiderman,
Friendly neighborhood Spiderman.
Wealth and fame, he’s ignored—
Action is his reward.
To him,
Life is a great big bang-up—
Wherever there’s a hang-up,
You’ll find the Spiderman!

Dressing for the weather

10 Oct

It’s getting colder these mornings. So we’re adding extra layers. When he’s not wearing thermals, Number 2 is donning his new cord pants lined with gingham. I’ve popped them into Pink Sister’s shop too. Choose from dark brown corduroy lined with orange gingham or navy blue cord lined with red gingham check. Find them here. Hope you’re all keeping cosy too.

Run run as fast as you can

4 Oct

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And so begins an epic quest to perfect the gingerbread man. I am seeking high and low on the cook book shelves in the kitchen, scouring the foodiest food blogs, tracking down the ideal combination of ingredients to make manifest the gingerbread archetype. The platonic can’t catch me I’m the gingerbread man must be super gingery, pliable, chewy, not too sweet and not too ascetically unsugary, dark and rich and melt in the mouth.
Alongside I need to nail the technique to render the gingerbread man’s face and buttons.

Experiment 1
Recipe: Hummingbird cookbook
Adjustments made to recipe: Reduced cooking time to 8-9mins with a fan oven and made the biscuits slightly thicker than recommended 4mm. Doubled the quantity of ginger.
Results: 3/10 appearance 6/10 texture 7/10 flavour
Comments: The icing recipe was way too stiff to create any features but was a great glue for smarties. The biccies resembled the much loved Ikea ginger thins with a continental dark sugar quite grown-up taste. Great with coffee. Kids hoovered them.

Pink Sister commissions for Christmas

3 Oct

Just completed a special order for pillowcases. If you would like something for Christmas please order as early as possible.Visit the Pink Sister shop on Etsy

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Pink Sister Flags

16 Sep

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Just a quick post to show you another Pink Sister commission. Have not made flags or bunting since I made 30metres of the stuff for my niece’s christening. (But these have since done good service in our garden, for kids parties, for church halls, for school fetes…. We are available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, street parties!) Have recovered from that experience and these rainbow ones gave me great pleasure to produce. They are a mixture of brand new and vintage fabrics, including some lovely French Fifties cottons. If you fancy some then please email pinksister@live.co.uk to discuss a commission. They are in the shop now.

Aprons for small things

4 Sep

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Back to school tomorrow. Hasn’t it gone quick, haven’t they grown, etc…. These aprons are for some little classmates. A lovely idea for a birthday party… I believe they will all be making cakes. Today has mostly been about trying to tie shoelaces. Always assuming Number 2 sticks it out for a whole day, whole new worlds of opportunity suddenly open up. Life, I believe, goes in 7 year cycles. And so begins a new one.

Blackberry paper

29 Aug

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We picked a box of blackberries yesterday in the park. But we still have masses of jam from last year so I decided to try something new… fruit leather.
Basically you pulp the fruit and boil it, add a bit of honey to preserve it and simmer 5 mins and then pour it out on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and leave in a low oven to dry out for about 6 hours.
The kids love those Yoyos of dried fruit rolled into pinwheels but they are really expensive. Unfortunately as with the vast majority of my homemade efforts they didn’t like the ‘blackberry paper’. They just wore those suspicious expressions and refused to even try it. Hmm. When does school start? For those with more adventurous tastes it is actually pretty good. Its chief virtue is also its greatest failing: the extremely intense hit of blackberryness. I will be adding it to my cereal.

Update: Number 1 has relented and deems the blackberry paper very good and quite suitable for her school snack box!!