London: We did other things too!

So we are back home from London, and I thought I might share a little of our trip with you. I know it appears that the only reason we went was to fabric shop, but that's not really true. That was just an added bonus. John and I have been to London a number of times now and we both adore it. We both fell madly in love with it the first time we went, back in 2007. I'm not sure what it is; if its the hustle and bustle, the cornucopia of entertainment, the history of the city, the old buildings mixed with the more modern, the amalgam of cultures, or maybe it's the people, but whatever it is,  it's  captured our hearts. We've pretty much done all the touristy things that one does, although I imagine there are still more things we could do if we wanted to. We both dream of having our own flat in London someday, so now when we visit, we like to pretend to be Londoners and do things that we might do if we lived there. Does that sound silly? Anyway, here are some of the things we did this time. Get ready for lots of pictures!

We saw Lady Gaga at the O2. She put on an amazing show. Lots of costume changes, wig changes, lights, smoke, and dancing. When she first hit the scene back in 2008 with Just Dance and Poker Face, I thought she was just another bubble gum pop star and I wasn't overly impressed. But then I saw her on Saturday Night Live, and it was just her and a piano and she sang. I was blown away by her voice, and her genuine talent. I've loved her ever since. I would love to see her "unplugged" one day, but this show was pretty amazeballs too. Given the opportunity, I would definitely go see her again.





Here is my incredibly patient husband getting covered in Gaga confetti. He's not as big a fan as I am LOL.

We went to Portobello Road Market - a favourite for sure, but sadly no fabric. I love to people watch and check out the old antiques. There is also a ton of food and new items too. It's always packed though, so prepare yourself for crowds.




We went to an NFL game! And I feel like I actually get football now. Yay! John was so great at explaining everything to me, and this time I actually listened. :) It was at Wembley Stadium and it was packed. We had fun.






We went to our favourite movie theatre (twice!) - Electric Cinema. The first time we went, we saw The Judge (I didn't take pictures) and the the second time we saw Fury. Electric Cinema is the best. You get to sit in leather lounge chairs with foot stools or leather sofas (it depends on what you book) and you can order hot food. I had wings when we saw Fury and they were delicious! It's in this old theatre and it has so much character. We try to go there at least once every time we get to London.


We ate a lot of food. One of our favourite new places is Byron Proper Hamburgers - the burgers were soooo good. We must have eaten there 4 or 5 times because we just couldn't get enough, and there seems to be location everywhere.





This is pizza from Pizza Express. I was dying for pizza and this really satisfied my craving.


This is pretty much the very best chicken I have ever eaten; the Shwarma platter at Harrods. So delicious!


We took the tube and minded the gap, and we took the bus all over. There's nothing like riding up top at the front of a double decker bus.




We went to the Royal Albert Hall for London Blues Fest. We had tickets for two separate nights. One night we saw Elvis Costello and he was brilliant. Such an amazing voice, even after all these years.



And on the other night (Halloween), we saw Sheryl Crow. She was so good! She sang for just over 2 hours straight, and I knew pretty much all the words to all the songs she sang. She put on a really good rock show and it seemed like she really enjoyed herself. The Royal Albert is such a great place to see a concert. The sound is amazing and no matter where you sit, you can pretty much see everything. John and I both jump at the chance to go there.




On the day we went to Raystitch, we spotted a record store across the street. John has a growing vinyl collection so we went in and found him some records. There was quite a selection and I was happy to be shopping for John after he had been so patient shopping for fabric with me.



So those are pretty much the highlights of this trip. I have blogged a ton about London already which is why I didn't got into great detail here, but if you ever want to know more, feel free to ask. We had a really great time, but I am happy to be home snuggling with my pugs and sleeping in my own bed.

Do you have a favourite place to travel? Do you find somewhere you love and go there over and over, or do you prefer to explore new places?

Think You're Cut Out for Doing the Blog Hop? Take this Quiz.

Spoiler alert! There is no quiz. As you probably know, I am terrible at coming up with catchy blog post titles, so this time, I did what I always do when I'm in a pickle, I asked the Google. (Well usually I ask John first, but he already does enough for me with this blog, so this time I went straight to the Google.) And I found this: HubSpot's Blog Topic Generator. What? It's pretty ridiculous, but it makes me laugh every time, and then I wonder if people actually use it. Then I used it - so yes, people do actually use it. Anyway, I am thrilled to be nominated to do this little Blog Hop that's going around about the writing process. I am thrilled not because I now get to answer questions that I have no good answers for (takes me back to high school exam time), but because I was nominated by one of my favourite sewing bloggers Heather at Handmade by Heather B. Have you seen her blog? It's awesome! Also, what you might not know (unless you read all the comments on Heather's post):  I had already been asked (via email) by one of my other favourite bloggers Gillian but she didn't get her post up before Heather soooo I'm not sure what happens now. Oops! Anyway, I know it's not an award or anything, but I am feeling all noticed and special and I like that!

3pph4dI found this too, see the Google is good for lots of things.

Okay enough with the procrastinating, and onto the actual Blog Hop. I'm not sure who started this, but I have seen it on a number of blogs already. It's just 4 questions about writing. So here we go (please imagine these questions being asked in a James Lipton voice, but not the real James Lipton - the Will Ferrel James Lipton - much more my style):


1. Why do you write?

I write because I have always written. I've kept a journal for as long as I can remember. Not because I am an amazing writer, or because I aspire to be one (although that would be nice.) But because sometimes writing helps me to process and just get things out. I also like having a record of things. Way back in 2007, I got into knitting and discovered the world of blogs - mostly knitting blogs, but also other blogs. My love affair with knitting kind of died out, but I really liked the idea of blogging. My sister-in-law suggested that I start a blog about travel. John and I love to travel and I agreed it would be a great activity to write about, plus it would allow me to share my experiences and have a record of where we went and what we did. So that's what I did. Then I found other things I wanted to blog about so my blog became more of a lifestyle blog I guess, and then at the beginning of this year, I started this mad obsession with sewing and it was only natural for me to blog about that. So now I write to share and catalog my projects, but also to connect with other sewers and bloggers. As an introvert this works perfectly for me. I am much better one on one, than in a big group, and this vehicle allows for it to always feel like that. When you communicate with people via writing you have time to go back over what you typed and make sure you are saying what you want to be saying (and hopefully not sticking your foot in your mouth as I often do). It doesn't always work out, I don't always convey myself exactly as I hope too, but most of the time it works for me. Sometimes when I really need to get something out, or tell someone how I feel, I still write a note, or an email. Some people might feel that that is less personal, but for me it's the best way to get my true feelings out. If I did it in person, I would be a stammering mess. Anyway, did I get too personal? Does that make sense?

2. What are you working on?

What am I not working on? I always having something on the go. This week has been all about comfy knits and basics. I've made 5 t-shirts and 2 pairs of leggings and I have 2 pairs of Hudsons cut out and ready to be sewn up as we speak. I seem to always be fluttering from one thing to the next, so I am trying to work on cultivating a style - although I'm not sure I want to stick myself into a category and be stuck there. I love to wear fit and flare dresses sometimes, I love button downs and jeans, then I love retro blouses and pencil skirts, and leggings and tunics and....and...and....I guess I dress for how I am feeling that day, and that's how I sew too. So maybe that's my style - a little bit of everything. I am also trying to get myself in Fall sewing mode. I popped out to Fabricland yesterday and bought some awesome flannels to make Archers out of, but I'm not quite ready to start working on them yet.


3.  How does your blog differ from others of it's genre? doesn't. My blog is pretty much like most blogs out there. I try my best to be creative and funny, but I'm not sure it really differs all that much. I try to make it my own by being my own unique self and by being honest. I'm not really sure what else to say. It has pugs, does that make it different?

4. How does your writing process work?

Well first, I sit down and make one of those brainstorming webs they taught you make when writing stories as a kid, then I write a double-spaced rough draft on looseleaf paper, then I edit it, have my husband proof-read it, then it's ready to be typed up and put on the blog.... Just kidding!! I don't really have a process per say. Usually, I make something, or do something, or eat something, take a picture or two, and then I tell you about it. I don't really plan in advance because I'm not that organized, but I am trying to be consistent and post at least once a week. I have been able to maintain that pace over the summer, but I don't know what will happen in the future. John recently asked me what I will do when I've sewn myself a whole new wardrobe and I have enough clothes. Ummm...since when can I ever have enough clothes? But seriously, I too wonder if my sewing will slow down, or if I will hit a wall and not want to do it as much anymore. I certainly hope not! Because I LOVE it!

So there you go, my addition to the blog hop - now for my nominations:

Nominee #1 is Sarah at the Creative Perfectionist. Sarah is a fellow Canadian who loves to sew super cute dresses and all kinds of wonderful things like purple chambray pants! She too, is working on cultivating her style and doing a fine job at it,  I might add. She just made a really awesome dress from a Japanese sewing book that looks fantastic on her. She also has a super cute pixie cut and an affinity to pink hair. I'm looking forward to hearing her answers!

And in the spirit of keeping it Canadian...

Nominee #2 is Sue from A Colourful Canvas. I would love to hear about Sue's writing process. She comes up with the coolest fabric combinations, and her bubbliness always comes through in her blog posts. I kid you not, it's like reading sunshine! She also loves a good bird print, a girl after my own heart.

So there you have it, mission complete! Thanks Heather (and Gillian) for the nomination!

The Anniversary Washi

Yup, I made another Washi. I seem to do this. I make up a pattern, and then want to make tons and tons of them. Okay, well maybe not with everything, but with the things that turn out well, like my leggings, and my plantains, among other things, but those are the ones that I have blogged about. Anyway, for this version, I made a round neck and no sleeves again. IMG_4592

This fabric came from Goldhawk Road in London and it is super soft. It's 100% cotton with little grey, yellow and teal flowers. It's really pretty. I finished this dress on John and my anniversary, and it was the last project I sewed with my little Janome. I finished it in the morning and John took me to buy new Pfaff that afternoon. Awesome anniversary gift, right?


I am really digging this photo location. The only problem is that I set the camera on the retaining wall of our garden, and I guess some of the plants got in the way. Sorry about that, but I didn't want to redo this photo shoot. The neighbours already think I am crazy enough.


I love this version even more than the first. The fabric is super dreamy and has a really nice drape and weight. The neckline still isn't lying flat and I am actually wondering if I could go down a size to resolve this issue. I ended up taking this one in about 1/2'' on the side seams, so I might be able to get away with sizing down.


I think this dress will look great with sandals for the summer and awesome with a cardigan, boots and tights for the winter. So it's pretty versatile. Plus I have discovered Made by Rae's Washi Expansion pack too, so I can make even more variations. Yay!


The construction of this dress was really easy, and I feel like I have a good handle on the shirring now. My little Janome handles the elastic thread really well, fingers crossed my new Pfaff will do the same.

We've had another lovely week in the Country Place. The weather has been great, and John has enjoyed fishing and I've enjoyed sewing. Things have been a bit stressful, as Solomon is really starting to struggle. He is having more and more trouble walking if he has to go more than a few steps, and he can't stand for very long. I think his age is getting the best of him. He's almost 13 and he's had a really great life, but it's so hard to see him struggle. He is still very alert and is still eating really well, but I fear he is fading quickly. And I dread making the decision. I have always hoped than when his time came, he would just lay down for a sleep and not wake up. I'm no sure we're going to be that lucky.  So needless to say it's been an emotional week, and I have been happy to have the distraction of sewing. My Mom and Stepmom are coming to visit later on today (they are staying for the weekend), so I'm looking forward to that too.

How has your week been? Are you a summer dress person?