Friday, 29 August 2014

Snail Mail

Here are some of the cards that have gone up in the Ellie And Ada Shop.  They are a fun way to brighten someone's day.

I have always loved snail mail, receiving and sending off mail.  I would spend hours drawing and colouring in envelopes.  My gran used to playfully roll her eyes and I told her I wanted to amuse the postman with the colourful envelopes as well as the recipient.  I lived a year away from home and the best was getting letters from friends and especially from my sister.  She used to include mix tapes and it meant I was listening to music that hadn't came out in Ireland at the time.

There is something lovely about a handwritten note.  It's not just about getting something other than bills in the post, it is lovely recognizing someone's penmanship and a surprise.  Cards and letters can become souvenirs also.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Thinking of You

I have a cold at the moment.  Had it for a few days now.  Thought I was rid of it and it got a bit worst yesterday and today.  John is calling me a fog horn because of my cough ( I cough a lot normally)  I didn't sew yesterday.  There was no weekend sewing.  There was only sock knitting.  It was fine.  I didn't do much walking today.  Lexi has been patient but she is looking to go out for a walk soon.

New cards will be making an appearances in the shop.  Keep checking!  This Thinking Of You card is now available in the Ellie And Ada shop.

I am going to go for a little walk with John and Lexi.  I am getting some cough syrup and cough drops.  Need to stretch my legs and Lexi needs to stretch her little legs.

I am going to turn a heel on the Vestigial socks when I get back.  I love the look of them.  I normally knit plain socks on 2.5mm needles and cast on 60 stitches.  This pattern is knitting 56 stitches in a rib stitch on 2 mm needles.  I am sure they will fit.  I love mistake rib.  My favourite scarf pattern.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

All I want to do today is eat cake.

All I want to do today is eat cake.  You can quote me on that.

This is a picture of my brother's birthday cake that I made him.  (Technically, I made him two cakes.)

I might try and make something nice, fun and glutenfree for my own birthday.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Looks like Isadora is dancing on a scanned page of a very old college notebook. 

Looks like there is a very strong colour theme going through my knitting at the moment.  I dyed all the yarn photographed.  One pair of socks, that I am knitting, is a pattern by Hedgehogfibres.  It is called Vestigial.  Got into the sock buzz again.  And as soon as I get this sweater done, I want to finish one of the 4 ply cardigans that I have on the go.  Might alternate Aran and 4 ply jumpers because knitting 4 ply cardigans can get a little bit boring or 'Are we there yet?'  I was very grateful for the one 4 ply cardigan and sweater that I did make for myself this summer.

I got chips last night and the man in the chipper was laughing that I was already back into the winter gear.  I was wearing a lightweight cowl and hat.  I have bad circulation and constantly make John aware of this fact by putting my hands on the back of his neck.  It is cruel.

Was walking by the donkeys in our town (few can say that I am sure) and this little toddler cut loose and just walked out in the middle of the road.  Maybe he was from Dublin and was heading back.  I was walking Lexi and saw this.  I started running towards them shouting and pointing.  "The toddler is in the road.  Baby in the middle of the road.  The baby!"  Cars were beeping.  The little fella kept on trucking.  His family realised and all is well.  The little guy must prefer Shetland ponies to donkeys. 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Halcyon Days

The sun glass case was what I sewed for my mother a few weekends back.  I only got to do some sewing yesterday.  I made 2 cushion covers, a bag and a mini pencil case for my hand bag and another little coin purse using up scraps.  I appreciate that this all may seem repetitive but I am determined to use up some of the fabric I have been harbouring for years.  The cushions are making my couch even more comfortable and smart looking.  I love to organise my life with zippered bags.  So bear with me!  I am going to sew one more cushion cover today and then put away my sewing gear till next weekend.

Lexi is growing impatient and wants to go for a walk.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Whatever Happens

I am doing quotes that I like as a personal project.  I don't want to over think the project.  I just want to do it.  I want to basically mess around with quotes and words that I like.  Some quotes mean more to me than others but I really don't want to discuss it all.  I just want to share the quotes without an explanation.

I sewed this pencil case last weekend.  Made one for my brother as well.  Don't expect him to use it but I just wanted to sew him something for part of his birthday present.  I tie dyed the fabric probably last year and still have a bit more to use.  I love dyeing fabric and yarn.  I found these pens when going through some old boxes belonging to me at my parents'.  Knew they needed a new home so I made a pencil case specially for them.

I am going to try to sew something today.  I'm a bit wrecked, it was a long week, but a good one.

P.S. Mustard turned out grand.  I am going to try messing around with the recipe and other recipes.

Made the courgette loaf by Nigel Slater again.  This time I skipped adding the apple and raisins.  Didn't have either.  I probably added more courgette because I had it and wanted to use it.  I didn't have just raisins.  I had a bag of mixed fruit for Christmas cake making.  I felt citrus peel would have spoiled the party so I skipped it and didn't feel like going to the shop.  I like using up what I have the most in cooking and baking.  I also like adding more of what I like, so I added more cinnamon.  I put in almost a teaspoon.  Happy enough with it.  Even John now likes courgette loaf/zucchini bread.  (just making a note of what I did, I often change recipes around slightly and then forget what I did then wistfully stare out the window and try to remember what did I do???)

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Edge of Edges

We had company today and a fabulous day!  Tried to get the blog done earlier today but the morning wasn't having any of it.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet because I am tired and going to find something to watch as I knit my jumper.  Forget about Winter Coming, Autumn feels like it's well on it's way.  Wish it would hold off until after John's and my birthdays are over.  Summer, I am not ready to say goodbye just yet.  (Irish people talk a lot about the weather, don't they?)

Also now, I kind of want to reread some Tom Robbins.

Friday, 15 August 2014


I don't know what kind of mind discusses cake because that is probably what I will be doing today.  I am baking my brother his 'real' birthday cake.  I am going to make another chocolate jam cake - glutenfree for myself to eat whilst everyone eats birthday cake.  August is a time of many cakes.  I used to make cupcakes and cakes with icing.  One year, I'd say we went through a serious amount of sugar and icing sugar.  I'm not going to lie.  I was buying the big 5kg bags of sugar.  My family and I had problems sleeping at night due to the crazy amounts of sugar.  Molly, the dog was given a teeny amount of cake and even she was up at night howling.  The icing recipe was too hard core.  I should look for another one.  I have just been making chocolate icing and cake since.

Can't wait to blend the mustard and see how that turned out.  I'll see if I can cut the mustard or not.

This bag above I sewed the weekend August 9-10, 2014.  I also made few other items.  I have a busy weekend this weekend.  Hopefully, I will get some sewing done on Sunday.  Might make some cushion covers if I have the right zippers in my stash.

Better start baking the 'real' cake.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Lao Tzu

Trying to think what to write!  Lao Tzu is a hard act to follow.  I'm telling you!  I am grateful for the love and support that I do get.  Also I think we can do the unthinkable when taking care of and protecting loved ones.

I did make the courgette loaf/zucchini bread and it was a hit.  Lexi tested a fallen raisin from a slice I was eating and she looked like she fell in love herself.

I'm making progress with the hand spun, raglan top down sweater.  I separated the sleeves from the body and am now working on the body of the sweater.  I'll share photos as soon as I take some.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Sometimes the most wild thing to do is let it be, let things be broken, accept them and not try to fix them.

One book, that I really enjoyed this year was Cheryl Strayed's Wild.  I thought it was a honest account of an interesting adventure.  I am curious to see how the movie will turn out.  I would love to go on a big hiking/camping trip, one that I could take John and Lexi.  I love to be out and about walking outside with my two loves.

I just threw together the ingredients in a jar to make some simple mustard.  This could be a start of something beautiful.  I get such satisfaction in making things myself.  Mustard is the top of my limited list of liked condiments.  I love many foods.  I am not a fussy eater but I wouldn't have much love for ketchup, brown sauce and barbeque sauce.  Having Crohn's doesn't allow me to eat as varied of a diet as I would like, this I don't mind most of the time.  This also has me making many of the foods that I do eat from scratch because some ingredients in processed foods I am unable to digest.

I haven't made the courgette loaf yet.  I got some  Dove's gluten free white flour yesterday.  Think we have a bumper crop of courgette/zucchini, so I am looking at recipes of courgette chutneys to make.  Last year, I had a lot of cooking apples after going apple picking and I reckon the best thing that I made and what was the most useful was the chutney.  I made apple butter also but I rarely eat gluten free bread.  I suppose I mostly use jam for baking.  I do want to make some berry or rhubarb jam.

I made mincemeat for mince pies last year.  It was amazing and smelled amazing, the house smelled like Christmas should but I don't know if I will make as much mincemeat.  I need to find some glutenfree suet.  The chutney was handy.  I gave some jars away and it was used a condiment and also as an ingredient in cooking chicken and salmon in the pan.  I guess I could always make a batch of apple butter and mincemeat then make a lot of chutney.

Need to let the mustard soak for a while.  I used black mustard seeds because that is all that I have here at the moment.  Looking forward to trying a few different mustard recipes.

How wild is that?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

A Creative Man

Sad news to hear about Robin Williams.  I adored Mork and Mindy growing up.  John has the first and second of Mork and Mindy and we used to watch it in his flat.  Robin Williams had immense talent and it is so sad to hear that he suffered such depression.

Happy Birthday to my brother!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Let There Be Cake

As mentioned before, August is a big birthday season (the other majority of friends and family is March).  John, Lexi and myself were all born in August.  Tomorrow is my brother's birthday and today, I am baking him a teacake - Chocolate jam gluten free cake.  It's actually Nigella Lawson's Store Cupboard Chocolate - Orange cake.  Don't think calling it chocolate jam gluten free cake would sell many slices.  I really like making it and using raspberry or strawberry jam instead of marmalade.  Never was that big into marmalade.  At the weekend, I am going to bake him a proper birthday cake.

Also we have a lot of courgette/zucchini on the go so, I would like to make some courgette loaf (zucchini bread).  I am going to use this recipe.

I got a few things sewn yesterday.  I was in Cavan on Saturday and really am out of interfacing. The little purse is one of the things that I got done yesterday.

John took the picture of the Moon.  It was on his camera.  I decided to share it.  The moon was amazing last night.

Must get a move on!  Hope your Monday treats you well.

Sunday, 10 August 2014


Sometimes, it seems that there is always so much to do.  I know someone who is near and dear to me and she says when she walks in a room she only sees what needs to be cleaned and tidied.  I will not compare myself to Marie Curie but I always feel that there is a lot that remains to be done.

I got up early yesterday and managed to get a sun glass case sewn for John's mother.  We went to Cavan yesterday.  It's always a bit of fun seeing everyone.

I am going to start a hand spun, top down raglan sweater with this hand spun yarn, I dyed.  I think the wool is Falkland.  I'll have to check.  I love knitting simple sweaters.  Not smart to start new sweater, when I have so much to finish but I like to have a simple sweater on the go when I want some auto pilot knitting, especially when I am so tired.  I always like having a seamless, top down sweater on the go because when you don't feel like trying things on and figuring out when to stop decreasing for sleeves, it's great to knit these great big seas of stockinette stitch without worry.  I was so wrecked last night, I only managed to get a few lines of a swatch done before falling asleep.  My big feather cushion, that I sewed the cover for, was my accomplice.

I'm going to tidy up a bit then maybe do a little bit of sewing and then I am going to swatch for my new raglan sweater.  I will restart that scarf.  I'll work on the scarf in the mornings instead of socks until I get the scarf finished.  Today, I'd also like to go for a nice walk with John and Lexi and then watch a movie with John.  Though, if the rain holds off, hanging out in the back garden would be nice also.

Enjoy your Sunday.  I think I might need another cup of coffee to jumpstart me.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

To Outlast

A bit of William James to start the morning!

I am rushing a bit here because I have to get ready to see family and I am trying to get things done before.  I need to grab a shower and I have a hankering for another cup of coffee.  We actually have no breakfast stuff (for me).  I took 2 frozen bananas out of the fridge (it's my new and recommended practice of freezing ripe bananas- you can use them for baking or making dairy free ice cream or whatever.  You might not feel like baking when they are ripe but they are there for when you want them) .  I took the 2 frozen bananas and put them through the food processor and had that for breakfast.  It was really yum!  I have to eat gluten and dairy free so I eat fruit or bacon for breakfast.

The sewing is part of what I did last weekend.  It is orange, lined and quilted.  I think it's cute and look forward to using it!

I'll have to figure out what I will sew tomorrow.  I think I have a few spare throw cushions but they are at my parents' house.

Had a really nice walk last night with John and Lexi.  We took a different route.  Might do that route a bit more.  Think it's a bit longer than our usual jaunt in the evening.

We're doing a deal note cards in the Ellie and Ada shop.  Four cards for ten euros!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Benjamin Franklin

This print is available in my Ellie and Ada Society6 page and also in my Ellie and Ada Etsy shop.  This also is available in white and can be printed with a border.  I am enjoying messing around with hand writing words and quotes.  I've always wrote quotes or bits and bobs of poems in my notebooks.  One of my favourite notebooks/sketchbooks that I worked on, I also used the poem Burnt Norton. by T.S. Eliot.  I used letter stickers.  I guess I wasn't brave enough to hand draw the lettering or patient enough.  It seems to be so popular now and a lot of it so beautiful!

So, this was last weekend's sewing, from August 2-4th, 2014.  I made one other sunglass case for my mother and a bigger patchwork bag.  I will share the photos of the orange patchwork bag tomorrow.  

The black tote bag is the bag that I used the old fabric that I got many a moon ago in NYC.  I used ready made straps.  I am using long straps because it is handy when walking the dog.  I like straps the best that cross the body.  I am a bit of a bag lady.  I love totebags and I love leather hand bags.  It has been fun making bags and zipper bags.   I love having a bag or a zippered bag for my possessions.  I still use pencil cases.  It's more fun using a pencil case when you made them yourself.

The zipper bags that are rectangle are quilted and lined.  They are for my sunglasses.  I made one for my mother.  I made three altogether.  I decided to make the cases because I really like the  two pairs of sunglasses, I got recently.  I usually just throw sunglasses in my bag.  It is nice having a case because they won't get as scratched and I like using what I make.

There is a zippered bag there that is lined and quilted.  Last weekend was the first time I used the bit of hardware, the keychain bit.

The cushion cover is made with fabric, I dyed.  I love how the fabric and the cushion turned out.  We only had one cushion that I inherited.  It has proven to be an asset late at night when one tries to get more comfy whilst watching nonsense on the television.  The cushion cover that I made covers a 22 inch cushion.  This was so easy to make.  It was the last thing that I made on the Bank Holiday Monday and I will be making many more.  We can use some more in our living room, bedroom and guest room.  I'll have to try a few more styles.  Maybe go crazy and use some piping.  Wild weekend sewing.

It is raining.  Yesterday, there was a bit of thunder.  Poor Lexi was a bit spooked.  She just shaked.  She was staring at the ceiling.  John said she thinks the roof is going to fall.  It wasn't too bad and she wasn't too upset.  Some dogs go a bit nuts when there is thunder.  Anyway, it's a rainy day here.  Hope it clears up.  I have some drawing to do.  Might have Downton Abbey reruns keep me company.