Tag Archives: Pink Sister

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.

Pink Sister Flags

16 Sep


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.

Etsy bonus

20 Jun

A lovely Etsy seller sent me this Zürich souvenir handkerchief. I’ve made it up as a cushion. Buying on Etsy is such a pleasurable experience.


“Stitch and bitch” chez Pink Sister

13 Jun
Pink Sister stitch and bitch #1

Pink Sister stitch and bitch #1

Often stitch whilst drinking coffee and chatting with my friends. Nobody minds (I think). Pink Mister gets the same treatment – he knows I cannot watch subtitled Scandi crime drama without his filling in bits missed when my head nods to pick up the next stitch. So combining socialising and making seems like an obvious one to me. ‘Stitch and bitch’ it’s called – we need more practice on both I reckon but for a first attempt this was really fun. V made bunting and got first use out of her excellent and very pink John Lewis sewing machine. E and I helped – drawing round the pattern, cutting out, ironing… but mostly drinking coffee and munching cake and sorrel soup. You can see what Number 2 was about – took me longer picking up his lego than it did making the bunting. John Lewis machines (the mini ones for £50 or so) are really good – I only graduated to a £200 Janome model last year and the little red JL is now on a shelf waiting for Number 1 to get into making like mommy!

Peonies are incredible

30 May

These are the most beautfiul flowers I think I have ever seen never mind received as a gift. It was worth having our recent big party (and all the efforts of our usual over catering) just to receive these. I sat looking at them listening to music for a good hour or two the evening after the party. We’ve peonies just blooming in the garden now and, though not the peer of these, they are already vying with the roses and the irises for garden champion.

Happy Birthday bag

30 May

Happy Birthday bagThe kids made this – after a fashion. They drew the letters and then caught on to what they call ‘outlining’ to make the letters more substantial. I then cut out the fabric and made up the bag. The kids wanted to do the ironing but that wasn’t a runner. Kids occupied, (birthday girl) friend happy. All good.
(For speed: line bags with an old pillowcase then you cut the outer fabric to the same size. Means you have good proportions and a bit less measuring and sewing to do. Zigzag stitch holds the bondaweb letters in place – didn’t have time today to do my preferred hand stitching around the edges.)

Bell ropes

1 Apr

I’ve long wanted to put something up through the narrow soaring stairwell of our house. Our house… it’s a narrow tall chimney. 3 floors. Lots of stairs. High ceilings. Good light at the front in the morning. Good light at the back in the afternoon-evening. The hallway is somewhat dark. I wanted to make a virtue of the height. I was thinking about prayer flags, ribbons, Tricia Guild’s colourful pom-pom frill bell ropes in her stairwell, I’ve tried strings of laboriously hand stitched patchwork pieces, I’ve tried spiralling paper …

I’ve also been thinking lately about the words that get me through. I’ve always collected consoling or uplifting or provoking words from things I’ve read. I write them all down in a clutch of little red slub silk covered books. They help. They always help. But they’re trapped in these little books. I wanted to bring them out and make them part of our house, especially for the children to be immersed in these words I’ve loved. This is the beginning of such a project.

I think of them as bell ropes which romanticises my hallway as a bell tower. But, note this Numbers 1 & 2, they are not for pulling!

The paper is the wonderful security prints from the inside of bill envelopes (which I know some people collect – but I’ve not patient enough to accumulate it), music scores from a clearout of childhood papers, textured papers from unbidden upmarket catalogues, scraps of handmade paper & card saved for no good reason, thick cartridge paper from the reverse of estate agent’s circulars…. lots and lots of places you can find wonderful paper.

Shots of lemon

8 Jan

Pink Sister homemade preserved lemons

Feeling a bit creaky on and off – either age or RSI or the weather or all of the above. Tanking vitamins and putting lemons on the top of the shopping lists every week. A squeeze of lemon is going in salads, soups, tea…
This last week I did a few jars of preserved lemons, which I’ve made before and used in Moroccan stews and soups and tagines. It’s quite easy and quick: take about 10 unwaxed and scrubbed lemons, segment half of them and juice the other half. Push a layer of segments into the bottom of a sterilised jar ( a jar hot-washed in the dishwasher), add salt, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds, do another layer of lemon segments then add salt and spices as before. Continue to the top of the jar, squishing down each layer, then pour lemon juice over to cover and seal the jar. You have to wait 6 weeks (well alright, a month) before you use them.
Cook them with chickpeas or chicken in a tomato stew with onions, chillis, peppers, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin and some coriander leaves or parsley or even rocket added at the end. Wash the excess salt off before you use the lemons – I find they make everything TOO salty otherwise. Jars of miniature whole preserved lemons in the supermarket are really expensive. Try this instead.
And if you don’t like throwing anything away you can make candied peel from the lemon ‘husks’ left after juicing, or freeze these and use them in a batch of marmalade at the end of the month, or use them to clean tarnished metal, or…. run away and knit some dishcloths or big pants to wear on your head! Even the friends who mock my extremes of household economy are happy to eat moroccan lemony stew.

Pink Sister: candied lemon peel in progress

Windy day soup, or turnips are actually good

5 Jan

Windy Day soup

It is still windy. Listening to the latest on the mess it’s caused on BBC 5 Live. Last night felt like sleeping on board ship in a storm. For us at least it’s turned into a dramatically productive washing day – the turnover on the washing line is impressive. Extra pegs on our pants!
Clearing out the fridge drawer I find 3 parsnips and a soft smallish turnip. This is the soup that results.
The chestnuts we collected at Knole in the Autumn. I think the memory of that lovely day out makes the soup extra good.

Windy Day Soup (when it’s best to stay indoors and when root veg are lingering in your fridge drawer)

1  onion
4 garlic cloves
3 handfuls leftover cabbage
cooked chestnuts from the freezer
kale from the garden
veg stock
3 parsnips
1 small sorry-looking turnip
several handfuls of pearl barley

1. Dice the turnip and parsnips, shake some olive oil across and salt, roast at 180C until golden
2. Fry chopped onions and garlic in a big soup pan then add cabbage, chestnuts and the roasted turnip and parsnips
3. Pour veg stock over until more than covered (you can always add more water to soup but never take it out!)
4. Throw in pearl barley and simmer up to an hour, adding the kale about 20mins before the end
5. Eat lumpy with sourdough bread and lots of butter

The turnip is actually good. The different flavours and textures are really good when you don’t blend. Eat soup lumpy, I say.

Pink Sister shop: new fabric pencil cases

4 Jan

Just started a line in pencil cases or cosmetic bags, using old and new zips, old and new fabulous fabric, all fully lined. This one is 25cm x 14cm and is made from Sanderson’s Still Life Matisse print from last year.  I like to be able to see everything inside the bag, especially when I’m using mine for cosmetics, so the zip runs across the middle. Hope you like it. More to come.  Buy this at the Pink Sister shop on Etsy here

Pink Sister pencil case cosmetics bag