Wednesday 24 July 2013

My bike gets a makeover ......

It all kinda started after moving to Germany.  Strange really?  
Whilst we were living in the UK I didn't really miss a bike.
Cycling on UK country roads is nothing for the faint hearted.
But after moving to Germany and discovering the most amazing purpose build cycle paths infrastructure I missed having a bike especially the freedom that comes with having one.
I don't drive and the public transport is good but limited out here in the sticks,
 and on a family holiday to Denmark I saw lots and lots of beautiful bikes in a wide mix 
of colour’s decorated with pretty handmade extras.
The idea of me owning a pretty bike didn't leave me alone and I went to our local
independent bike-shop and showed him some photos of the bikes I had seen. 
Lets say he was a little skeptical about the whole idea of bikes in pretty colour’s and didn’t see a market for that kinda look around here.  In fairness to him I am talking a good few years ago before every life style magazine had a picture on the front cover or inside including a retro bike in some way or another.  What was great though whilst he may not got it (the look), he was happy to help me get the bike I wanted and that is why I always like to buy from independent retailers, they will go the extra mile for their costumer as they know a happy costumer is a returning costumer. 
I can so vividly remember the day I picked my bike up with its lovely wicker basket.
I had butterflies in my tummy after all I had not been on a bike for 10+ years so a 3km ride home was a little scary and I must have looked like someone who had too much alcohol in the system 
the way I was swerving all over the place.  
After arriving home I immediately got started with making the liner for the basket 
and ever since that day my bike and I have been inseparable.
I love my Bike & the freedom it gives me, I wouldn’t want to be without it.

....the freedom to go to farmers markets and buy much more than fits into the basket....
Hence for quite a while now I have been looking for some pretty but also sturdy Pannier bags.
Once again it was my local bike-shop who came to the rescue and found these ones for me. 
I love them not just because they are very pretty but really roomy & sturdy.
But next to the new bags the basket liner looked very tired & old. 
However could I find a fabric that would work with the Pannier bags
....NO.... it was starting to get a little frustrating for me.

....But sometimes things are just meant to be 
and walking into the Fabric & Wool shop in town it all fell into place....
I had only gone in for a wee browse for sock wool as I like to make a pair of wellie socks,
but the first thing I saw was this lovely blue fabric called Gypsy Girl 
by Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics. 
It reminds me so much of my early childhood.  Yes I am a child of the seventies 
and whilst I normally detest mostly all of the seventies fashion & furniture,
I really like this fabric.
The sock wool was all forgotten about! 

What I love most about sewing is playing around with fabrics and seeing how they can work together
However the colour of sewing thread and choice of stitch is just as important
it can really change the overall look and make a feature of something 
that otherwise would go un-noticed. 
For me it often makes all the difference between a OK or a great finish.

Excuse my over indulgence with photos on this post but I really love the way 
the whole revamp has turned out!!

....A prettier bell has also been on my wish list for a while 
but all the ones I liked had a price tag I didn't like with it....
So most important to me was that I will not spend any money on the revamping of the bell. all adds up and before I know it a small fortune is spent.
Believe me, I have done that numerous amount of times in the past with other revamps. 
So this time I only used what was already in the house.
And voilà ....
I my new but old bell!!    

It’s the little....very little....things that make me so happy like this button with the red thread.

With the revamp finished plus the absolutely fabulous weather,
 (sorry I’m not going to complain about the heat, I think its great)
 I had to take my bike for a spin a couple of days ago.
Maybe not the best idea to go on a 12km trip in the full glare of the midday sun,
early morning or evening may have been a bit easier to cycle in. 


Nevertheless once I arrived I rewarded myself with a little picnic I had brought along and
enjoyed reading the new Molly Makes in peace and quiet.
Something I never really seem to find time for at home. 
It was so peaceful, time was standing still.
But ever so often the church bells remind me that time was ticking away.

And like all good things it had to come to an end much to soon.
But with scenery like this even the journey home was lovely!!
Well .... the Paperdolls have started their summer holidays today
and I have a couple of projects I have started & like to finish over the next couple of weeks 
plus a another Vintage Tearoom next week,
so no chance of me getting bored over the summer holidays!!
 Thank you so much for popping by its always nice to see you here.
Enjoy the fabulous weather while it lasts!

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Cherishing little joys....

A post about a perfectly lovely "lazy"weekend and cherishing the little things.       
  For the past couple of years in our house there always seems to be a overwhelming pressure 
to do something, being on the move, rushing around on weekends when Mr Mc is not working. family & friends/having friends over.... never seems to stop....
not sure where this pressure comes from? 
But this past weekend was a wonderful change from our normal one’s kind a weekend really, delighting in the little joys of life....
....sunshine.... a garden full of blossom....birds singing....Paperdolls splashing in the pool....
....playing family board games....even a trip to a local Flea Market....
....of course a little Wimbledon .... fresco dining....

....Another trip to strawberry heaven was made with the family to the delight of baby Paperdoll....


....And before the mysterious strawberry monster could eat all the freshly picked strawberries
I started making Jam.  I was a little apprehensive as I have never made any Jam before
and my childhood memories of my Mum making Jam seemed a very long winded affair.... 

....Luckily for me it was a much easier process then I remembered....

Well as we all know “the proof is in the pudding” or in this case the Jam
 so on Monday morning I tried the fruits of my labour on freshly baked scones
and like the food critic Anton Ego from Ratatouille with the first bite of the scone
I was taken instantaneously back to my childhood,
 ....soooooooooooooo unbelievably yummy....
A real “little” joy for me, making my first homemade strawberry Jam!
Have a great week and cherish your little joys!!

Friday 5 July 2013

Keeping a promise & going to strawberry heaven.....

 Finally today I could keep a promise I made to baby Paperdoll a while back. 
Most days we pass a self pick field for strawberries and baby Paperdoll has been asking me 
to pick strawberries there every time we pass starting way back in March.  
To be honest I think she must have lost faith in me & my promise 
as I kept telling her they aren’t ready jet.  
So much so she even checked out the official start of the strawberry season
on the net telling me it starts in May so why aren't they ready, 
trying to explain that the weather was to blame, was pointless.  
With the Paperdolls having a long weekend from school, finally today was the day. 

 Baby Paperdoll was up at 5am....yes you are reading correctly 5am.... in anticipation,
I should have known better than to tell her yesterday if I really wanted a long lie.
Luckily the weather played ball, as another cancellation because of it,
would not have been excepted by baby Paperdoll. 
 Off we went with friends and baskets in tow.  

Strawberries....strawberries.... as far as the eye could see.  
....................A REAL STRAWBERRY HEAVEN....................
 Soon a competition started as to who is picking the biggest ones.
Not sure if not more strawberries landed in our tummies rather than the baskets
but that is after all part of the fun! 
 “Most” of the picked strawberries made it safely home.  The entire house smells of 
freshly picked strawberries, utterly yummy!!
This batch was turned into a quick cake and the rest will be turned into 
scrumptious homemade Ice Cream.
  With my integrity reinstated baby Paperdoll went off to bed absolutely exhausted 
but I’m sure dreaming of her strawberry heaven. 
And I am sure this was not our last trip to the field this year.      
Thank you for coming along, it’s always really nice to share happy times. 

Tuesday 2 July 2013

I really did it....

.......... for me personally a huge achievement.  
At the start I had only two targets for me in mind finish the 5km in an hour....
&....not being the last one across the line.  Well I accomplished both, 
but I couldn’t have done it without the fantastic help and support of my spinning instructor Lisa, 
who stayed with me all the way.  Giving me the perfect mix of encouragement 
and kick up the back side.  I love spinning & cycling and can walk for miles 
but running is a big fat no no for me I am hopeless at it and it is definitely the weak point in my fitness and whilst I’m not a quitter in life, running is one thing I can happily “throw in the towel” at.  
During my run/walk/run a passage from a book my aunt had read to me as a child entered 
into my head.  MOMO by Michael Ende, in the book Beppo a street-cleaner tells Momo that 
“some times when you look at the whole long street, you rush...and rush but it seems not to get any shorter and soon your out of breath but you are nowhere near the end of the street but if you only think of the next step & the next.... before you know it you have done the whole street 
without realizing it and you aren’t out of breath”.  
Mmm.. not sure if the not out of breath part applies here, I was gasping for air 
like a Husky in a Hawaiian heat wave by the end of the run, but as far as not thinking 
of the whole distance it definitely worked for me.  Especially when I was struggling most 
knowing how much further I have to go would have been defeating for me.  
I crossed the finish line in 45 minutes to the cheers of Mr Mc & my Paperdolls 
and a very supportive crowd ....a little emotional for me....  
and was nowhere near the last to cross,  yes I know its not a world record 
nevertheless for me personally a success.  And somewhere in all my excitement of crossing 
the finish line I think I agreed to “run” another 5km charity run in September?!  
I must be a glutton for punishment!!  That was of course before my whole body 
went into pain over drive and I discovered I will lose 2 toenails.  
But looking at the bright side we raised a fair amount of money for Cancer Research UK, 
I can cross the running thing of my bucked list before I wrote one and seriously thinking of joining our local running club.  I let you know whether my thoughts have taken me to join or not?  
Bye for now and have a lovely week!!!  

P.s......Momo by Michael Ende(better known as the author of the Neverending Story) 
is a great book not just for children but adult alike.  
It gives us all young & old food for thought on what is really important in life!!  
Well worth a read.