I have moved

You can mostly find me here these days instead. I'll do cross-posting for a while longer though.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Finally finished


I made Sofia this quilt in 2010. She got it just before Christmas that year.

There are twelve prints in the quilt and I had enough left over to make a patchwork big enough for a pillow case for her.


But as I pinned it to a ready made pillow case something else got in the way (most likely chicken pox given the date), and finally it got buried in the bottom of my to-do-pile.


But yesterday as I was trying to get a handle on the mess that is my sewing room I found the pillow case and while it might sound weird that I stopped organising and started sewing it made sense in my head.
The alternative would be to put it in a new pile of "stuffs to do" or I could just take the time and finish it.


Easy peasy. I attached the patch work to a ready made pillow case with a wide zig-zag, then sewed additional zig zags down each seam line in the patch work.

Sadly my organising has made me mislay the present I bought for Isabel's birthday. I cannot find it any where.

Very annoying.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jump Rope

Jump Rope in progress

I made some progress on that dress for Isabel last night. The placket and collar are both done and I sped through one sleeve to make sure I had planned it correctly.

It turned out well, but I am a little conflicted about the sleeve. I may have to take it out and make some alterations, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

I may have to consult my teacher (aunt) and see what tips she can give me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One tub of sewing ...

All cut out.

Now to have it done by Saturday morning.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Monday's to-do list (to be done before noon Friday)

  • Finalise EM once and for all - depending on co-worker getting the basics done and approved (130 pages)
  • Possibly send of final draft of RM to client in preparation for a Fall release
  • Print and pack 3 sets of manuals in English and Italian
  • Send off OM to client for final check
  • Possibly send off MM to client for final check (might not be necessary) I make an executive decision not to do this
  • Once OKed from client
    Prepare OM for translation (IT, DE, FR) (110 pages) - send of for a price estimate
    Prepare MM for translation (IT, DE, FR) (300+ pages) - send of for a price estimate
  • Write up, Fact check and Finalise a brand new RM for changing protective covers (text and images - 40-50 pages)
  • Print brand new RM in 4 copies in preparation for Week 28 delivery
  • Update our packing instructions - take new photographs of packing procedure
It feels like I'm missing something ...

OK lets get this party started.


One of the pups fell asleep on Sofia's lap

When Rickard and Sofia visited MIL's new puppy on Monday they got to meet her brothers as well. Puppy has two older brothers who are both up for sale, and then there is Helmer - her little brother.

He was born last and is not for sale. He's teeny tiny compared to his siblings, he's blind and most likely brain damaged. He only sort of shuffles around in circles.
Rickard wasn't sure they would let him live, which I thought was a pitty.

Sofia held him on her lap and Helmer enjoyed her strokes and cuddles and quickly fell asleep.

She desperately wanted to bring him home.

But if we can't make room and time for a healthy pup we certainly shouldn't bring home one who has special needs - no matter how much I'm tempted.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


No, it's not us who is getting a puppy.

When I met Rickard way back when they had just had to put their dog Mimi down.
She was old and a bit sick and it was just her time.

I thought for sure the would get another dog but the years went on and my parents-in-law settled in without a dog.

It came up occasionally but in the end the timing was off.

Then my SIL married a guy who has a dachshund and they bought a house not far from her parents so they take care of that dog fairly often, though less often now than before.

So one day my MIL met a lady with a collie while out on a walk and suddenly she realised that the time was right to get a dog now that they are both retired.

So this little collie girl is coming to stay with them in a few weeks.
She's still too little to leave her mum but in another two weeks we all get to meet her.

Rickard and Sofia went to visit yesterday with my MIL and Sofia was smitten.

I hope we get to borrow the pup once she's settled and a little older. It would be fun. For all of us.

Mummy's mug!


This is my new favourite coffee mug. It's double sided which gives it a thermos effect. And even if the coffee is hot it's not too hot to hold.

I wish they didn't cost an arm and a leg so I could get a full dozen, but for now I have to settle for the one.

And I guard it jealously.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cute packaging


These have to be the cutest little tins I have even seen. Can you guess what's in them?

They are "feminine hygiene products" ... as in tampons and I have to admit I only bought them for the tins.

They came in pairs and cost three times more than my regular brand but I just couldn't help myself.

Besides I can always fill them with generic brand products once they're empty.

Raspberries and spuds

We don't only have peonies in the garden.


Rickard got a white clematis from my aunt for his birthday and we planted it against the fence so it will have something to climb on.


In the planter to the left of the clematis we planted broad beans and a raspberry plant. Sadly the beans were eaten by the magpies and blackbirds that visit our garden, but the raspberry is looking good.


In the planter to the right of the clematis we have planted potatoes. I took 12 spuds from the fridge that has sprouted a little and shoved them down in the ground and at least 8 of them are coming along nicely.

There wasn't any potatoes for Midsummer but we will get at least one meal from it I'm sure.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I had no idea peonies were my favourite flower


I bought a peony plant last year and planted it in the garden. There were no time for buds on it last year and while it looked healthy enough before winter it's been nothing but a few brown sticks all spring.

But then one day I saw there were lots of red shoots coming out in the ground around the brown sticks and after only a few weeks it was tall and green and full of buds!

My MIL insisted peonies don't bloom for three years after they have been planted but the buds grew fatter and fatter and this week they burst open into this!


They smell divine too.


There are five or six very large buds and a few more smaller ones but I'm hoping the plant will grow even larger next year and give me more of this incredible beauty in our garden.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Parks and Fabrications

We went to the park today.

Sofia had asked to go on a ride and while we waited for the Tivoli to open she went to the little zoo, had an ice cream and went on a pony ride.

Waiting to ride a pony

It feels so weird to only have one child to look after. We're all missing Isabel like crazy and while I think Sofia enjoys the attention of being an only child she still misses her big sister.

We're driving to the camp tomorrow to visit Isabel. They're having an open house. It's going to be fun to see her and to see where she's staying.

I work again next week where as Rickard's on his summer vacation. His mother is taking him and Sofia for a drive to visit their new puppy.
Puppy is only 6/7 weeks old and won't come to live with them until mid July but they go up to visit fairly often.

It had arrived after all!!

Today I also finally laid my grubby hands on this parcel of goodness. Some London novelty fabric for bags and totes and 2 yards of lovely flannel for pjs, nightgowns or blankets - I haven't decided yet.

I got the slip in the mail on Wednesday but when I drove over they said the parcel hadn't arrived yet. Neither had it on Thursday, but when I called the Postal Services they said the store should check their shelves because it hadn't been registered anywhere else.
Sadly that was the day before Midsummer's Eve and while I don't really think that's my problem I understand they had a lot to do.

However when we were there today and I kindly but firmly asked them to check in the back it took the lady less than a minute to find my parcel ... I rest my case.
Instead of registering the bar code from the Swedish Postal Services they registered the parcel using the bar code from the USPS - which didn't match my pick-up slip.

This has happened before and I will not be so meek next time it happens.

It's fabric for crying out loud!

Liberty premiere


I'm working on a new mini project using Liberty fabrics. I've never had the pleasure to sew with Liberty before but I have some friends who are definitely transferring that Liberty Love and I already have a few other Liberty related projects lined up after this one.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Midsummer's Eve

It's shaping up to be a standard Midsummer's Eve.

It's raining and 16 degrees. Just like it's "supposed" to be.

Summer camp called me this morning but I hadn't saved their number in my phone so I didn't recognise it and didn't answer cause it woke me up and I couldn't really think straight.

I called them back right away but they didn't answer.
I left a message though so I'm a bit on pins and needles for them to call back.

I have gone over every possible scenario in my head but I chose to believe that since they didn't leave a message and they didn't try again right away it's nothing serious.

I called the office in the village but they knew nothing.
He did tell me they were about to start their Midsummer's Eve celebrations soon though and Isabel's group were on their way to the village which might be why they didn't answer.

Yeah - a bit nervous though ...

More pictures


I wanted to share two more pictures from Isabel's graduation. All the kids in her school from the Preschool grade (6 year olds) to 5th grade (11 years) graduated together in the school yard.

The day was clear but windy and more than a few of the parents there probably felt a little chill.

I find few things feel more comforting than seeing our blue and yellow flag against a blue summer sky while listening to kids singing our special summer graduation songs. I admit I got something in my eye when they sang.

I would post pictures here of the gathered kids but I want to respect their privacy so I chose not to.


Instead you get this picture of a grumpy little sister - not sure why she was cross or even if she was. Whenever she is with Rickard she asks if he can carry her and I think he will until she stops asking. She's getting too heavy for me to carry around but Daddy will comply for a while longer.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


The state of our driveway has been a source of mild stress for us since we moved in five years ago. It's consisted mostly of gravel ranging from teeny to large and the weeds have been hard to control.

We had plans to dig it out and replace it with some uniform gravel, I would have liked flagstones but the slope of our drive way is a bit too steep for it.


A couple of weeks ago the community association had a team of landscapers and construction workers here to work on our community back yard, including laying down asphalt on our bike lanes.

The company who did it offered to have our driveways paved for a very reasonable sum and we jumped at the chance.

Sure gravel would be prettier but asphalt is so much easier to maintain.


So the morning after our National Day the girls and I were having breakfast when the team of workers drove up and asked me to move our car so they could get to work.

In the 30 minutes they were there before we left they had dropped asphalt on half our driveway and were busy spreading it out and packing it.

In the evening when I came home the driveway was beautifully black and smooth.

(Please excuse the sad state of our windows. The window cleaner is due in July and I haven't had the energy to get it done before. So far this summer has been unusually windy and since there has been construction going on there's been a lot of sand blowing around, getting stuck to our windows.
That is my excuse and I'm sticking to it.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


In Sweden we call the last day of school of every grade, graduation. Maybe you do too?

Isabel graduated from 1st grade last week and will have a long summer vacation this year since Rickard and I have taken our vacation weeks overlapping, giving the girls 7 weeks off.


After making the eyelet bordered Playdate dress for Sofia, I went ahead and started planning a graduation dress for Isabel as well.

She's a bit harder to please these days. She's very set in her ways on what styles she likes and what colours to match but she sometimes has a hard time verbalising it.

I took her to the fabric store and I think we browsed it for about an hour before we settled on a style and a fabric we were both pleased with.

Not only does the dress have to fill the criteria of being in the right price range. It has to be age appropriate as well as within my range of ability to pull off.

We settled on a dress based on the Ruffled Halter top by Oliver + S, made from white poplin and eyelet.

I started by enlarging the patterns slightly. The biggest size is XL and is said to fit a 10/12 frame. Isabel is not yet 8 but she has outgrown most of the Oliver + S size 12 patterns.

So I added a bit of depth to the armscye and some width to the top, I also lengthened it to a dress and marked up for a possible slit in the sides in case the dress would be too slim and hinder her movements.
After that I copied the front and made a back. I also enlarged the top ruffle pattern piece to match the front panel.

I then started thinking about the ruffles and decided I didn't feel like gathering them. I hate ironing with the heat of a thousand suns and I know I said a lot of bad words when I set out to iron the Ruffled Halter tops I made the girls last year.

So I studied a camisole Isabel had with ruffles that weren't gathered and with some help from my awesome online friends and my tailor aunt I managed to work out how to construct the ruffles using a flounce instead of a gathered ruffle.


On the original pattern the ruffles are two different depths and widths. I decided to only use one depth and draw the pattern piece wide enough to fit at the bottom and trim as needed higher up.
I copied the largest pattern piece and drew a line on it every 1.5" starting from the middle, going out to the sides. Then I cut up along each line with my paper scissors, leaving a tiny hinge at the top so it still held together.

Then I drew a centre line on a new piece of paper and taped the centre edge 1/4" to the right of the centre line. Then I spaced each cut up pattern piece 1/2" from the previous, almost like a fan.
I made sure to keep the upper edge smooth and taped the heck out of it to keep it all in place.

Then I had a long look at it and decided that maybe 1/2" wasn't enough and so I taped the left half of the pattern piece 1/2" to the left of the centre line and spaced it 1" apart.

Once that was done I traced the outlines onto the backing paper and cut out my 2 new pattern pieces. I also opted on not placing them on the bias but against a fold on the grain.

I cut out one of each flounce in regular muslin fabric to get a feel for the drape and I decided the 1" spread was the one to go with.
I suppose I could have cut the pattern piece in smaller increments and spread them even more and that would have been ok too. It's all a matter of taste.

Once I had decided on my flounce I measured where to place the ruffles on the dress to make sure they would overlap.

The original pattern says to just sew a straight stitch along the bottom edge of each ruffle but I wanted to add a bit more flair to it so I edged each ruffle with some white eyelet lace I had at home.
I serged it in one go, then ironed it over and topstitched it in place. I did the same on the hem edge of the dress itself.
I also serged the upper edge of each ruffle.

Instead of sewing the ruffles wrong side to the right side of the dress, I placed the ruffle and dress right sides together with the ruffle up side down. Then I sewed it on, folded it over, ironed it in place and topstitched.
Since the eyelet fabric frayed easily I didn't want to have any raw edges.


I didn't sew any ruffles on the back of the dress. They would just bunch up and wrinkle when she sat on them.
The ruffles are attached in the side seams just like the original pattern says.

My lowest ruffle ended up being a bit longer than the dress itself. I thought it would be a cool feature - but I think the proportions of it were wrong and it ended up looking really weird so I opened up the seams again and cut the ruffle a little on the corners so the sides all lined up. The ruffle is still longer than the dress in the centre but it's not an issue there.

The dress ended up a bit sheer in the back that wasn't hidden by any ruffles so the night before graduation I sewed up a pair of white knit Nature Walk pants made into shorts for Isabel to wear underneath. i think they'll end up being a favourite of hers because they fit well even though it was only a size 12.

Vampire teeth and kissy mouth chocolate cake

A few weeks ago we had a day off in the middle of the week.

June 6th has recently been elevated to National Holiday status and changed from our Flag Day to our National Day. Second day of Pentecost has had to give up its status as a day off.

The day before, on the 5th our little baby turned 5. I wrote about that here.


We celebrated with some gifts in the morning. We bought her an iPod Nano so she could listen to music and she got a speaker set so she could play it in her room.
She got some play dough, a book and some clothes.

Since the day after was a day off I quit work early and Rickard was home on sick leave (after a wisdom tooth extraction the week before had turned into a bad infection and he was on antibiotics), we decided to celebrate in the afternoon the day of.

Both sets of grandparents have retired so there was no need to postpone it to a weekend.


Sofia requested a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and candy for decorating. Especially vampire teeth and "kissy mouths".

I put icing on the cake and let her decorate to her heart's content. Then we put the customary number and elf in the cake and come candles.
It was a huge hit.

(The recipe is from Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat" and is my go-to chocolate cake recipe.)


The best gift she got that night a dress up-dress fashioned after Belle's dress from Beauty and the Beast. But the thing she's played with most since is the Barbie doll my parents bought her.



This dress has been a long time in the making.

I'm not sure but I think I bought the fabric at Christmas and I have been quietly obsessing over it since then.

Sofia has at least three Playdate dresses already but she is doing what most girls her age are doing. She's growing like a weed.

So the dresses have all become smaller and smaller. When I found this border fabric I knew it was destined for a new Playdate dress.


The fabric is very sheer so I knew I would have to line it. I had a hard time deciding on lining it with batiste or poplin. Both options were sheer as well and a good weight for the exterior fabric to play along with. But were they both heavy enough to make the dress non-see-through?

In the end I decided on the batiste since it's supposed to be a summer dress and the poplin was a bit polyester heavy.


Instead of gathering the sleeve caps I made a pleat to echo the pleat in the front. I did make a pleat at the sleeve edge at first, just like the pattern states but it didn't sit right so I ended up taking it out.

I also constructed the yoke a bit differently meaning I had to slip stitch it by hand on the inside. Something I will not try again.
The original instructions from Liesl of Oliver + S are excellent and it would have been an easier way to do it - but at least I know that now.

I wasn't very pleased with the end result at first. The dress reminded me of a night gown or a Lucia gown, but Sofia likes it and once she puts it on and she starts running around in it I don't get those vibes any more.



Would you look at this little face!

She's had a rough day today. This morning she said she felt queasy and wanted to stay home from daycare.

Daddy came back home so I could go to work and an hour after I had left she threw up. Although apparently not because she was ill I am told - she says she was looking at something on the telly that made her feel sick and that's why she threw up.

I'm working from home tomorrow so she can get an extra day off and so Rickard can finish up at his office before he goes on summer vacation.

I work one more week after Midsummer then I'm off for 6 weeks! It's going to be glorious. Three weeks all together and three weeks just the three of us girls.

Isabel is off at camp this week and next. We all miss her but we'll get to see her on Sunday when they have a Visitor's day. I can't wait to hug her again. I hope she'll let me.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I haven't posted anything here in a while but today I finally managed to upload and sort through the pictures in our camera and I have a few posts prepared for the next few days.


Here's a fun bunting idea I probably found via Pinterest. The wall above my computer desk was bare and boring and I had been looking for something fun to spruce it up with.

I had a pile of paint chips from when we were considering painting the kitchen and I cut them up with a craft punch then ran them through the sewing machine.

I sewed on a piece of ribbon at the beginning and end for easier hanging.

The wall still lacks some oompf but at least it looks less bare now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


This is from my favourite books to read to Sofia.

Mother Moo and the Crow

It's about a very special cow called Mamma Mu (Mummy Moo) and her friend Crow.

Mamma Mu isn't like other cows. She likes to climb trees and build a tree house. Much to Crow's dismay.
He tries to convince Mamma Mu that cows.don't.climb.trees.

He has little luck and in the end has to admit that Mamma Mu really could build a tree house.But of course he points out that she's bent a few nails. "Well , it's so hard to see where you hammer when you hold the hammer with your tail" Mamma Mu replies.

And of course he has to make one too just to show her he can. And of course the Crow's castle he builds is bigger and better and leaves him exhausted.


He scuttles off to his Crow's nest and Mamma Mu climbs into her tree house and sits there pondering how it doesn't matter if a nail or two gets bent. It's still a tree house.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Five years ago today I dropped Isabel off at daycare and went with Rickard to the delivery room to be induced.

Sofia was 39 weeks and 3 days old and I had developed a symptom called Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy.
I itched all over and would scratch myself until I drew blood. It had been going on for about two weeks and on the weekend came to a head when I demanded to see a doctor about it.
They drew some blood and came to the conclusion that an inducement would be necessary.

Sofia - ny

At 9:15 pm this little one squirmed out. It had taken 5 hours from the last dose of labour inducing meds until she decided to join us on the outside.

She was a big girl at 4550 g, and she had to spend her first hour with Daddy since they rolled me away to be operated on after the delivery.

Mamma och Sofia

But that was over quickly and I was rolled back down to hold her properly.


She's been an inquisitive girl with lots of attitude from the get-go.

Being silly

At five she's taller than her big sister's class mates and there is nothing she cannot do. At least according to herself.

She's in daycare and this fall she will join in the Big Kids's group. She's very excited about that.

She loves music and dancing and crafting. She's the other best thing that ever happened to me.
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