Friday, November 30, 2012

Dolls, scooting around and unidentified flowers

Hi peeps,

I was walking home from kinder drop off this morning and remembered that Zoe needed to take a teddy or doll.  Today is pajama day at kinder, we at least remembered the pajamas.

Dolls.

I rushed home and grabbed the two dolls in her bed, Dotty Doll and a cute felt bunny made by one of my dear friends (Hi Paige).  The quickest way to get back to kinder is via scooter, so I borrowed the big girls, and headed off as quick as I could.

I made it just in time too, phew.

I came home the long way, via the walking and bike paths. These are the paths I have been shuffling running along twice a week (some times even thrice!)

Scooting around

I usually run at night.  It is so beautiful to walk (or scoot) along during the day to appreciate these pretty pink flowers.  I have no idea what they are, except lovely. There was a poor lady there today trying to clean up all the fallen flowers.  Now that job will take her a long time I am sure.

If you want to buy any Christmas presents from my shop, hop to it as the international post cutoff is 10th December.

Have a great weekend.

Cat xox

Unidentified flowers.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My best and my most favourite pasta salad recipe

Hi peeps,

Well, I believe this is my best and my most favourite pasta salad recipe. Ever. Yes I have been watching (too much?) Charlie and Lola lately.  I have been making this recipe for over 10 years now.  I can not say which book I first saw the recipe in, this is my version, and how we like to eat it.  This salad we eat for dinner in summer (and winter, actually) and it is a great one to take along to a BBQ or a picnic.  It is very quick to prepare, got to love that.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

Pasta Salad.  
Pasta Salad
  • Cherry/small tomatoes (as many or as few as you like, I use between 10 and 20)
  • 200g of your favourite feta (I like to use dodoni.  I LOVE dodoni, but any feta will do)
  • A handful of green or black pitted olives (or a mixture of both, use as many or few as you like), chopped if you like.
  • Large handful of basil leaves
  • 300g pasta, penne or spirals work well
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and chop the feta into cubes.
  3. Make two foil parcels to cook the tomatoes and feta in. Using two lengths of foil (each about 50 or 60cm long), fold in half, and add the tomatoes to the centre of one, and the feta to the other.  Season to taste (salt and pepper on the tomatoes and pepper on the feta)  Fold the sides up around the food, and cover the top too, so each is well enclosed.
  4. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes.  
  5. Meanwhile, cook your pasta and drain.
  6. When the tomatoes and feta are cooked, open each parcel carefully, they will be hot and a lot of steam will escape.  I allow the feta to cool for 10-20 minutes, this allows it to keep its shape better in the salad.  If you don't mind it getting all smashed up, use straight away.
  7. Add the tomatoes, feta and olives to the pasta, mix well.  
  8. Roughly rip the basil leaves up and mix through with everything else.
  9. Enjoy!
Have a yummy day.

Cat xox

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My (Mia Dress) Creative Space and Christmas bunting

Hi peeps,

I have been very busy sewing lately.  Of course, I have been making lots of zippered pouches and hair bobbles (I always have a small, or large, pile of zippered pouches on the go).  I have had a few custom orders from lovely friends and family, I really appreciate the support they have given me and that they love my creations.

The Mia Dress.

One of the custom orders was a dress commissioned by a friend for her daughter, Mia.  My friend chose the fabric used in the main part of the dress ("La Dee Da" by Erin McMorris for FreeSpirit by Westminister Fibres).   She left the rest up to me.  I found the contrasting coral fabric in my stash ("Hello Pilgrim" by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics), and knew immediately it was a perfect match.  I was worried though that it was too pink, my friend did not want a pink dress.  I took a gamble and made the dress anyway. My gamble paid off,  I am so happy with how it has turned out.  These fabrics are such a beautiful combination together.  Luckily, my friend loves the dress too (phew!)

On a whim, this morning I added this dress, now called "The Mia Dress" to my Etsy shop.  I have just enough fabric to make two more of them. The dress also comes with matching hair bobbles (you choose which pair)

Matching hair bobbles

Today I also added some Christmas bunting to my shop.

  Christmas Bunting

Right.  I best get cracking on finishing some more hand made Christmas presents. I hope to gift mainly hand made presents this year, and not just my creations.  I have been buying hand made items online throughout the year and stashing them away.  There was even a hand made market a few weeks ago held in Hong Kong.  It was a lovely surprise to see that hand made is getting more exposure here in HK.  I bought lots of lovely hand made goodies.  I can't show you them until after Christmas, I want them to be a surprise to their recipients. 

Happy Creative Space day to you.

Cat xox

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's giveaway time!

Flowers fabric zippered pouch.

Hey peeps,

So who wants to win one of my hand made fabric zippered pouches?  You can choose what size (small, medium, large or travel/pencil case)  You can choose what fabric I make it in.  I will post to any valid address in the Universe.

Happy Robots fabric zippered pouch.

All you have to do is like my Raspberry Rainbow Facebook page and leave a comment on the post about this giveaway.  Easy peasy.

Pop Daisy fabric zippered pouch.

I'll pick a winner on Sunday 11th November at 8pm (Hong Kong time) using random.org.

Broom broom fabric zippered pouch. 

I am looking forward to making the lucky winners fabric zippered pouch.  What fabric and size would you choose?

Tweet Tweet fabric zippered pouch. 

Good luck!

Cat xox

Footballs fabric zippered pouch.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Raspberry Rainbow Etsy shop is here!

Hi lovelies,

It is with much excitement I can announce that my Etsy shop is (finally) open.

Jolly jungle

So far, I have zippered pouches (in 4 different sizes, three sizes have straps) and hair bobbles.  More items to come soon.

Hair bobble army

Happy Sunday to you.

Cat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meet the Gang, hair bobbles and zippered pouches

Hi peeps,

I have been very busy lately.  I am happy to say, I am very close to opening my very own etsy shop.  I am so excited and terrified all at the same time.  But more excited to be honest.
Yellow and red flowers

Here is a sneak peek of what I have been making. Of course there will be zippered pouches (in 4 different sizes)

Red 3

There will also be a large selection of hair bobbles. I have so many other ideas swirling around my head, but I best get this shop open first.
Meet the Gang

 Squee!  I am excited.

Have a great day.  Cat. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

New tricks

Hi peeps,

Last night I went for a jog.  Well, it felt more like an uncoordinated shuffle and there was a lot of walking too, but there were a few moments of jogging.  I can tell you that this was my first adult run.  Ever.   The good news is I enjoyed it. The bad news is my legs are achy today, but not as sore as I thought they might be.

Bath time?

I have been thinking about starting running for months now, I even bought a pair of runners way back in August.  I am hoping that doing more exercise will help me sleep better every night.  For almost two whole years now, I have not been sleeping very well.  I find it difficult to get to sleep, and if I wake up, then it is difficult to get back to sleep.  I am so very tired every day.  I cant even blame the kids, they are pretty good sleepers (apart from recent early mornings)

I know exactly when my sleep disturbances started: when the Shropshire boy moved to Hong Kong before us.  I was still living in Melbourne with the girls, solo parenting.  There was no Shropshire boy there in the evenings to remind me when it was bed time.  This was back in December 2010.

Unfortunately, even after I moved to Hong Kong, this did not make getting to sleep any easier.  So that is why I am trying running.  I hope I can exhaust myself out, and get to sleep easier.

Wish me luck.

Have a great weekend.

Cat

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Display

Woof woof
Hi peeps,

It feels like Monday today.  We have just had a lovely 4 day, long weekend here in Hong Kong, celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.

Swans

The Mid-Autumn Festival is an ancient harvest moon festival.  It is also known as the Lantern festival and many lantern displays can be found all over Hong Kong during this celebration.

Neigh neigh lanterns

Here are some photos I took during the festival, on two separate nights in two different locations.  The lanterns are quite amazing.  I just love the attention to detail and the scale of these lanterns (some are HUGE).  We had so much fun walking around them, it was a great atmosphere, with everyone admiring them. They really are so beautiful.

Bunnies

Cheep cheep

Flowers

Red moon lantern

In the photo above, the real full moon is looking very tiny, overlooking the very large Golden Moon lantern.  This was spectacular, as it changed colour with pulsating lights, I hardly wanted to take my eyes off it, it was mesmerising. 

Moon lantern, reflected

Orange lantern display

I need to keep reminding myself it is really Wednesday today.  It is not Monday.  Long weekends can do that to you.  Have a great day.

Cat. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pretty in Pink

Hi Peeps,

I hope you are all well.  Zoe and I have runny noses, so we are taking it easy today.

Here are some pretty flowers for you, from us.

The wee girl has been out collecting flowers with her Nanny and Grandad.

Have a lovely day.

Cat.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My (Red Ric-Rac) Creative Space

Hi peeps,

Wow, is it really Thursday again?  The weeks are passing by so quickly at the moment.  I want them to slow down a little.

This week in My Creative Space, there has been lots going on (again)  Yay to that, I say!

Zippered pouch construction

Of course, more zippered pouches are being made.  Always the zippered pouches.  I am seriously addicted to making them.  I am slowly building up some stock, ready to open my etsy store.  Soon, soon, I will get there.  I was buzzing last Friday as I sold a total of 7, yes seven, zippered pouches to two separate friends here in Hong Kong. It is such a thrill to see people love your creations.

Tooth Pillow

Abbey is so excited to finally have some wobbly baby teeth.  She has watched so many of her friends lose their first, and subsequent teeth.  It was not until a few weeks ago that she got her first wobbly tooth, now there are 3 wobbly ones that I can tell.  I am secretly making her this cute tooth fairy pillow.

Red Ric Rac dress

Lastly, I really need to finish this new skirt.  One for me!  I have had this fabric to make me a skirt for 2 years now. Ridiculous I know.  I have been making hair bobbles out of this fabric, but thought I better make my skirt now before there was no fabric left for a skirt.  

Quack quack 

I am using the pattern New Look 6843, view A.  I already have 3 other skirts using this pattern, and I love and wear them all the time.  It is very quick and easy to make and very comfortable to wear.  This time I adjusted the pattern and tapered in the side seams a little.  I actually made it last month, really quickly one night, it was completed apart from the hem and the button hole.  I got it in my head I just had to have red ric-rac around the hem, so my new dress has been unfinished until now (I finally got to Sham Shui Po last weekend for the ric-rac)

Today I will sew on this cute little duckie button, and tomorrow I will be wearing my brand new, hand made skirt.  

What have you been making?

Have a great day lovelies.

Cat.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Paper Punch Fun

Hi peeps,

Yesterday, I set out to post a few parcels that are (unfortunately) long overdue to be sent.  I wanted to make my own cards to go with these parcels and presents so I got out all my paper punches and paper and got rather distracted creating.  This is what I got up to.

Today's paper palette.

Finished cards

Punched

This one was my favourite of the day, spots and stripes together.  So happy. 

  I think this card is my fave. Love me some stripes.
Now, I really better get these parcels in the post.

Have a great evening.

Cat xox

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My (type of bliss) Creative Space

Well hello peeps,

This week has been bliss.  Every morning, I have had 3 hours to myself.  Three hours! 180 minutes. 10,800 seconds.  So, what have I been doing?  Creating, sewing, making cards.  It has been bliss.  I feel so inspired, having that time to myself with no little people making demands on me, I can really concentrate on being creative.  I am loving it. I probably should be doing some more exercise, but I'll get to that another day or week.

Zoe is now at kinder 5 mornings a week for 3.5 hours each day. I do miss her and I almost run all the way to kinder to pick her up. I am so happy to see her again, but I am loving (so much) this time to be me.

Now I have no excuse.  I hope to be opening up my very own etsy shop soon.

This week I have been busy sewing.

Under construction

I have been busy cutting fabric circles, ready to turn into hair bobbles.

Today's fabric palette.

I have been busy making cards and playing with paper.

Paper fun

I feels like I have waited a lifetime to get to here, to this happy, blissful place, creating with a clear mind.  It feels so good.

Happy Creative Space Day to you.

Cat.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Overcome

Tea and cake. 

Hi peeps,

Today Zoe went to kinder for the first time.  It was an orientation session, so I stayed there with her, we played with toys and met her new teachers and class mates. She had fun.  Inside I was an emotional mess.  The realisation that my baby girl was all grown up hit me full force.  I managed to keep it together at kinder but when I got home, I was so overcome with emotion.

So we had a tea party. To cheer me up and to celebrate this milestone.  We drank tea and ate apple cake together (I was so glad I made that yesterday!) We talked about her morning at kinder and how much fun she will have there and all the new friends she will make.  I gave her lots of cuddles.  She gave me comfort when I had a cry.  She patted me on my shoulder and very seriously told me it will be ok and that she loves me.  That only made me cry more, but it did make me smile too.  My baby girl is growing up but that is OK.

How does time go so fast, yet so slow at the same time?  Only 3 years ago today, I was 36 weeks pregnant, awaiting Zoe's birth. Now she is a big kinder girl. I am so proud of you, my darling girl.

I hope you have a great, less emotional day, than me.

Cat xox.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bunnies in a tea cup

Hi peeps,

These little Sylvanian Families bunnies were living in this tea cup for weeks, many, many weeks.  They were patiently waiting for some repairs.  Mr Bunny needed one of his red buttons sewn back on.  Mrs Bunny needed her fluffy tail to be re-attached.
Bunnies hiding
When I was taking off Mr Bunny's top to sew the button back on, I realised he was also missing his fluffy tail.  Whoops.  No one can find his tail at the moment, I hope it turns up some time soon. 
Bunny bottoms
Super glue, thank you for fixing yet another toy.
Hello bunnies!
Do your kids toys sit around for ages before you fix them?  Ours do!
We now have two happy bunnies, repaired and two happy little girls who have their toys back.
Bunnies in a tea cup
Have a great My Creative Space day.  Cat.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Has it really been that long? Reflections on living in Hong Kong - the first 12 months

Before the storm. 
Hi peeps, 

It caught me by surprise a few days ago realising that we have been living in Hong Kong for 12 months - a whole year now.  It has gone so fast.  Some days I still can't believe we were crazy enough to move countries.  Did we really do that?  Yes, we really do live in Hong Kong. Most days I am grateful the Universe gave us this amazing opportunity to live some where different and experience a new culture.  I love Hong Kong.  It is an amazing city.  Yes, it is hot.  Stinking hot and humid at the moment.  But that is just part of this adventure.  

Of course I miss my friends and family.  I ache some days missing my mum and some dear people back in Australia,  I try not to think about it too much.  I cried the day my Grandma did not want to talk on the phone, she just can't hear anyone properly on the phone, even when she wears her hearing aids, it was not personal.  I just wanted to hear her voice and have a chat.  Thank goodness for skype I say!  

I miss op shopping.  I did miss yummy bread until I started to make our own, most of the bread here has sugar in it and tastes wrong (to us).  I missed Jaffas, so my mum sent me two packets. I gorged myself on them, got a terrible head ache, and no longer miss them.  I don't think I will miss them for a long, long time.

I stressed for 10 whole months, worrying that Abbey did not have a place at a school, terrified that I might have to home school her.  Then in a short period of time, she had offers from not one, but two schools. We then had to choose.  I could write a whole long winded post about the International school system here, about needing to apply years before a place is even needed and the long waiting lists and the fees just to get on a waiting list.  But I need to let that all go.  Abbey now has a place at a lovely school (thank goodness!)  

We have experienced typhoons, tropical storms, amber rain, red rain and black rain.   Hong Kong does get cold.  I can attest to that.  But winter here is brief, and the summer feels very long, hot and humid. The summer is easier to cope with when we have access to an amazing pool complex, which contains 4 pools and 2 spas.  There is photo of it here

I am enjoying the lifestyle we live here.  We do not need a car, I can walk or catch a bus or a train to get around Hong Kong.  If all else fails, a taxi ride is not that expensive.  The trains are ever so clean and efficient (and air conditioned!), the buses stick to their timetable,  if anything, you could miss your bus as it was early to your stop.  Seriously.  

There is still so much to see and do here, but that will have to wait until after our summer holiday.  Soon we will be off to Paris and then on to explore Denmark.  I am reminded that this was one of the reasons to move to Hong Kong - we can see more of the world from here.

I hope you are having a great day.  Cat.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The green and purple

Hi peeps,

Don't you just love it when your day goes to plan and you can finish off things that need to be done.  Thank you to the toddler for playing so happily by herself today.  Often, when I have sewing I "have to do", I procrastinate and start a new project (do you do that too?  Please tell me I am not the only one)

Not today.  I was determined to finish these zippered pouches.  Two of them are gifts, one is spare (for me? probably!) and one a friend commissioned me to make (such a compliment, she wanted one of my large zippered pouches!)
Green and purple, finished!
I have not been happy with the straps on some of my other zippered pouches, the ones I use almost everyday.  I have one I use as a snack bag for the girls when we are out and about, it is used most days, and often hung from the handles of the stroller. The straps don't hold their shape, and get all bunched up.  They need to be reinforced.  So this time, I added a very thin iron on interfacing, and top-stitched over the whole strap, 4 rows of stitching.  I love the look of the top-stitching.  They are very firm now.  Only time will tell if this is sufficient reinforcement, I'll test drive the spare one, and probably keep it for me - you can never have too many zippered pouches, right?
Purple Straps
I got all fancy with the straps on the purple zippered pouches, and patchworked some of the fabric scraps with the strap fabric.  It was really fiddly to do, but I know I will use this method again as it adds such a special touch.
Peek a boo inside
Both of the purple zippered pouched are to be gifts.  One of the recipients is my Nana and she has sewed all her life, so I felt the pressure to make hers just perfect.

It will be so hard to part with these purple pouches.  I love how they have turned out.  But that just gives me another excuse to make even more zippered pouches, right?  Yes, definitely!

Yay to it being Friday!  Have a great weekend you lovely people.

Cat.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My (green and purple) Creative Space

Hi peeps,

This week is all about green and purple. These lovely green and purple fabrics are to be turned into (more) zippered pouches. Yes, I am still addicted to making zippered pouches.  The purple ones will have fancy straps on them too, if they work out as planned (in my head)  We will see.
Green and purple
I can't sew up just one zippered pouch anymore, it seems like such a waste of my time.  I always make them in batches now.  The negative side of this is, I often have many unfinished ones lying about, in various stages of completion.

These ones need to be finished soon, as they are to be gifts.  What are you making today?

Happy Creative Space day to you.

Cat.

Edit: See these completed here.