Tuesday, 31 January 2012

:: Etsy calling ::

Let me tear my eyes away from watching 'The Biggest Loser' for a minute, to let you know - plans are afoot for Vee and I to get our Etsy shop up and running very soon.

We're getting together later this week to climb further up the learning curve and open the doors for catandvee on Etsy, yah!!

The potholder up there was for Vee's birthday - you've seen it before - but it's a big hint that potholders will be the first item on sale, so get excited for some homes for hot pots in your house.

We have other goodies in mind too ... oho yes, too much excitement in catandvee land.

Happy Tuesday to you .... now back to my evening trashy-viewing xoxo cat

Sunday, 29 January 2012

:: pugs, cookies + a doll quilt ::

Still more rain in BrisVegas, what is WITH IT!!

Some more sewing - first up, another potholder - this time, for a friend of our friend Sher:

Yep, another Spoonflower pug peering out, full of longing.  And some orange Moda Half Moon scissors, red Tufted Tweets chairs, forever-loving Ruby Star viewmaster slides and total-favourite blue Aunty Cookies.  The binding is - I think - 'domestic bliss'.

The back is Suze Ultmann owls in a really vibrant lime: 

So love the cookies:

And I finished the little doll quilt for small Vee's birthday, based on Aneela Hoey's 'dream doll quilt' from this gorgeous book:

Fussy cut 2 1/2 inch squares, and a little quilt made of Bliss, Sherbet Pips and forever-loving Holiday Happy Santas.  Aneela's 'dream doll quilt' in the book had two tiny quilts - one for a little doll and one for a buddy, but I just made one for them to share, then added three pictures for the wall instead of clouds:

The back is the light blue scooter fabric from Sherbet Pips: 

Sorry about the bad light in the doll quilt pics - Brisbane has been cloudy and rainy all day.  There are more pics in our Flickr stream. 

Hope your weekend was happy and dry.       xoxo cat

'Sensibility....a new iPad App!'

o.k....sensibility tells me that if it's POURING with rain on Sunday morning, that surely everyone in the house will want a sleep in. 

But..... someone forgot to inform our 3 year old of that.

"Sensibility?" he says excitedly (at 6 am, pouring, still dark) ...."have you downloaded a new game on the iPad?" !!

So...with time to spare this morning had an early cup of tea and have made a chair bag for my niece Lotte who is in Grade one this year.

(Mental!) Note to self.....as our 3 year old seems to know more about the iPad then anyone else in the house perhaps i SHOULD create a 'Sensibility App' that tells my kids it is (way) too early to get up and to please GO back to bed.  

After all, the iPad must know better than mum or dad!

Hope you've had a happy weekend and here's to a fun week ahead. xoxo vee

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

:: long time no sew ::

School's back in action and it's raining, which means the Bernina is humming.

I had lots of sewing plans for the hols, but just didn't get to them - too much fun hanging out with the kids.

I'm starting small - a very quick table runner made from Ruby Star Shining (I so love everything designed by Melody Miller - anything starting with 'Ruby Star' and I'm there):

{{can you believe it's actually a QWERTY keyboard!}}

{{love the typewriter, the silhouette, the coffee pots, flowers, viewmaster slides, teacups,  +'s ... love it all}}
I should make clear - the print is a 'cheater patchwork' - I'm not sure of the actual name in the Ruby Star Shining line, but all I did was chop a yard+half in half, perpendicular to the selvedge, then sew it back together side by side.  

And this next little bit of sewing is a 'spoiler alert' for Vee ... there's a birthday looming in her house very soon, and I got started on a little pressie today (no surprises for guessing it's NOT her husband's birthday):

{{hint - it's a project from this book, and more sewing will be happening in the middle of the 'frame'}}
'Doll Quilts' is a very sweet book, filled with very cute little projects.  I think I'll be making a few of this particular project ... More pics when it's finished.

Happy Tuesday to everyone, hope you're staying out of the rain.         xoxo cat

Thursday, 12 January 2012

a kitchen shot and PLEASE no-one use THIS pot holder

Hey Cat,

oh how awesome can one be?? That is you that I am talking about. 

Here is my new pot holder as modelled by my stove! and the family are under strict instructions to 'admire only'.

I will see you at Weight Watchers this morning and for once in my life my goal this year is to be 'a big loser'!!

see you at 9.30. xxxx vee

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

:: so hot again today + a cake ::

The birthday fun rolled on into today, courtesy of morning tea at the lovely Eve's house.  The secret pot-holder (oh yes, another one, and there are plenty more to come) has been gifted to gorgeous Vee:

{{gorgeous Prints Charming pink/red fabric in the middle}}
{{lime Half-Moon scissors, Authentic text, orange Munki Munki dogs, yellow American Jane Fairy Tale Play tickets and awesome blue Aunty Cookies}}
{{not sure of the very cute grey buildings, but it's a pretty recent release - I've cut off the selvedge already ... }}
And here's the back - a very fab Suzuko Koseki Yuwa linen:

{{home sewing? why yes}}
{{love all those buttons}}
Out-take with Teddy:

At last, the delicious ginger cake from David Herbert's 'Complete Perfect Recipes':
{{this is the only pic I took ... you can sense the deliciousness though, can't you}}

60g butter, cubed
1/2 cup (about 180g) golden syrup
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup SR flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup caster sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

1. preheat oven to 170 deg C.  Grease and line a 23 x 12 cm (9 x 5 in) loaf tin.
2. melt butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Remove from heat.
3. sift flours, bicarb soda and spices into a mixing bowl.  Stir in the sugar and pinch of salt.  Add the milk and egg and mix until smooth.  Gradually add the melted butter/syrup mixture, stirring until well incorporated.
4. pour batter into the tin and bake for 50-55 minutes (I bake mine for 45 minutes and it's been perfect every time) or until risen and firm to the touch/skewer comes out clean.
5. cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Serve dusted with icing sugar (but I've never done that ... mainly because I forget to).

Eat.  Enjoy.  Though now I've started on WW, there's not quite as much eating and enjoying as before ... 

talk soon     xoxo cat

Monday, 9 January 2012

:: birthday girls are so hot right now ::

Sneak peek at part of Vee's birthday pressie ...

More pics once the pressie handover has been made tomorrow ...

'til then xoxo cat

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Pure Pedi sits upon hairy goat ottoman!

Yes! Happy birthday to me indeed. 

A very insightful reminder that we must always be thankful for the small things.
(Thanks Sharm!) 

Freshly pedicured toes upon 'Billy' the hairy goat ottoman.

What a cracker start to my day. Sleep in....a cup of tea and toast, a cute home made pop up card from my daughter, a gorgeous silver cat hammill necklace from my beautiful sister, a coconut scented candle from Bob, the MOST fabulous 'hairy goat' ottoman from my extremely thoughtful husband and then out to a relaxing pedicure courtesy of our good friend evelyn....AND all of this before lunch!

..now home for sushi and perhaps a nana nap before hubby takes me out for dinner and a movie.

Yes...what a sensational day....I can't tell my family and friends enough how much I LOVE them.
So thank you family and friends....I love you all very much and believe it or not 43 doesn't suck nearly as much as I thought it would. (ha ha! This coming from a girl who's favourite 'place' is 'denial'!!)

Happy weekend everyone

xxxx Vee

Friday, 6 January 2012

a cute and easy chair bag for you to make

I whipped up two chair bags in just over an hour this morning. 

One is for my daughter to keep on her chair at school and the other is a birthday present.  

Front of birthday chair bag
back of birthday chair bag
Unfortunately my daughter got the dodgy one....isn't that always the way?!

If you would like to make one - I've listed the instructions below. 
Please note that these instructions are for a chair of up to 44cm wide.  

Firstly you will need to cut out:

2 pieces of fabric for the pocket (1 is for pocket lining) -  14cm w x 22 cm h
1 piece of fabric for the front - 49cm wide x 46cm high
1 piece of fabric for the back (includes fold over back of chair) - 49cm wide x 77cm high
(note that these are the actual cut sizes)

                                              Let's do the pocket first....

Place the right sides of the 2 pocket pieces together

Ensuring that the bottom end of the pocket is left open and not sewn together. 
Start sewing from the bottom of one side, up towards the top edge and around down the other side. You want to sew as close as possible to the edge of the fabric.

Once the 3 edges are sewn together, turn your pocket the 'right way' 
and iron under the bottom edge

Pin your pocket into place on the front piece and sew from the top of one side edge, down and around the bottom edge and then back up, finishing in the other top corner.

An optional step before sewing the pocket onto the front piece of fabric is
to stitch along the top edge of the pocket.

Pocket finished!
 Lets hem before sewing front and back together.....

You now need to iron over the top of both
the front and the back pieces and sew a hem on each.
Note: roll once, iron, roll second time, iron for a tidy fray-free hem!

Now....to sew the bag together

Firstly we need to sew the bottom edges only of the front and back pieces together.
It's important that you place the front piece 'right side down' on the wrong side of the
back piece. (The wrong side of the back piece is actually the right side!!)

Before sewing the sides together we need to .......

......iron the 'sleeve' that fits over the back of the chair into place.

Firstly, 'turn out' both pieces so that the right side of the front of the bag
is sitting on top of the wrong side (which is actually the right side!!) of the back piece.  

You will have an extra 30 or so cm's of back piece sticking out the top. 

Flip the bag over so that you are looking at the 'inside out fabric' of the back piece and fold over the top so that you are looking now at the right side of the print, ensuring that the top fold is in line with the top of the front piece. (see photo above)

Pin 'the sleeve' down onto the bag (ensuring that when you sew the pins won't be sewn over)

Now turn the bag inside out and sew up each side.  If the sides look a little messy they can be trimmed and then zig zagged before turning back the right way.

Now turn your bag the right way round and voila.....how awesome are you.


Note: As an optional extra! I have 'french seamed' the bottom and side seams, which gives the bag a really professional finish. It is not essential as no one will be looking inside except for the kids and I personally, I don't think they give a hoot! about tidy seams!!

xoxo vee

p.s...I would just like to note that in the time in took me to blog this post I could have sewn another 2 or 3 bloody bags!!

Monday, 2 January 2012

:: postcard to Vee ::

Dear Vee

I just sat down with the laptop to cruise the blogs, glass of wine beside me.  No snack though - how virtuous am I - actually, not very, as you will soon see.

Oh man, I LOVED your postcard and pics - the mobile may have run down, but the camera-upload-cord is on duty!  I've got no pics to share online - was planning on some links, but the internet is mucking up, so I will hit 'post' without making the links.

Here's my responses:

:: the cuff - oh the cuff!! I love it, can't wait to see it, what a great find.  Looks great with the 'lucky' bracelet too. Gorgeous.

:: joining WW - yes indeed, I am planning on ringing them tomorrow to find out the local meeting times - will then text E to let her know too.  Bought a WW magazine today as inspiration ... and read it while drinking a cup of (sugarless) tea and eating tee-vee snack biscuits (not virtuous).  Husband is very pleased about my resolution to not drink mid-week, as apart from the obvious health benefits, he thinks it will be an excellent money-saving plan too.  Jeepers, it's not like I'm scoffing the fancy stuff.

:: the kids - hope you've got pics of the surfboard riding, can just picture her.  Can't believe the ipad didn't make the trip north! - there would be major withdrawal symptoms going on.

:: my kids - wait til you see their brand new 'crash mats', purchased at Riley Burnett in Lennox Head.  And we now have 3 big pillow pets and one pee-wee-pillowpet.  Didn't even know the pee-wees existed til now!  Got some great pics at Lennox, but not posting them here, surprise!, will show you soon.  Lennox was great - lots of rain, but that didn't affect us too much.

:: went and saw the Tin Tin movie today - I thought it was totally scary, but the kids loved it.  I did NOT have a movie-snack (virtuous) but I DID finish off M's cinnamon donut before the movie (not virtuous).

:: Eumundi - so glad you got to the markets, and how fab is that Berkeleouw Books! (and how impossible is it to spell.... ).  Love that bookshop, and the little coffee shop attached to it too.

:: SO looking forward to seeing you all soon - surely we can have bubbles and carrot sticks and some kind of health-ridden dip?  Ring me and we'll make a plan.  And do I hear birthday music in the air?

take care, love to all the family    xoxo cat

a postcard to Cat

Dear Cat,

Happy New Year my friend. I hope you have survived your family christmas and holiday away and of course have had an enjoyable New Year's celebration. 

Our beach pad for the week. (Wish it WAS ours)

Like me, have you disappointed yourself by breaking your New Years resolutions already?!

From Berklouw Books at Eumundi - what a GREAT find. Could have spent the whole day there.

Have had such a fabulous time away with our friends and their kids. 

'Finn-ilicious' is over the sand and surf and is begging to go home so that he can give his full attention to the beloved IPad. 

His sister on the other hand has turned a lovely shade of gold and has learned to ride a surf board, she would join the surf life saving team if she could.

a 'lucky' find! Gorgeous leather and studded charm bracelet by 'Noosa Amsterdam'.
Not to 'let the team down', I have eaten & 'wined' myself rotten, read a few good novels, spent every morning and afternoon on the beach 'fighting for a piece of sand and surf', visited the Eumundi Markets AND the seafood markets (yum) and yes, already broken my new years resolutions. (Check my mobile phone EVERY day, NO midweek wine and NO online shopping for 8 weeks ... with the exception of fabric of course). 

Coconut and lime scented candle from Tigerlily. DEVINE.

As 'a girl after my own heart' you will be very proud to note that it is now the second day of 2012 and my resolve has lasted all of 8 hours. (AND that was only because I was sleeping.)  I forgot my phone charger so mobile is 'dead', I just had to finish that bottle of bubbles in the fridge yesterday that was left over from New Years eve and my favourite fashion website Asos.co.uk is on sale.

Hubby and friends on the beach. Perfect swimming every day.

Anyway, 'enclosed' are a few holidays snaps and purchases! and I look forward to a coffee and a catch up when we are back. 

Love Vee xoxo

p.s...as I am sitting here enjoying my cheese and crackers and left over chocolate caramels, I've just had a great idea .... do you want to start weight watchers with me next week.??


Sunday, 1 January 2012

:: hello 2012 ::

hellooo 2012, what's in store?

We had a great dinner last night with family, then drove in to watch the fireworks at Southbank (the 8.30 fireworks, not the midnight fireworks ...).

We've been down to Redcliffe today to see my parents-in-law, who are on hols there for a couple of weeks.

And now we're back home again, drinking tea and eating the best ginger cake ever, which I've discovered thanks to my lovely friend K - it's from the David Herbert 'Complete Perfect Recipes' book, which all work every time.   I'd show you a pic, but we've just eaten the last piece ... might make another cake tomorrow though, so will be sure to take a pic and post the recipe too.

As for 2012, here are a few cat&vee things I'd like to achieve - not resolutions as such, since I'm not a fan of making (then breaking!) those - but just a few things to keep in mind:

1. sew every day.  Starting as soon as my machine arrives home from being serviced.

2. sew things that make us happy, and then keep or sell or gift those things - rather than sew things we think we should be sewing - stuff like little quilts, cushions, bags, bunting, and any other little sweet thing takes our fancy.
{{little quilt=happy sewing}}
{{cushions = happy sewing}}
3. sew using fabrics FROM MY STASH, rather than buying lots of gorgeous fabrics, and then not sewing with them.
{{gah! - how can I not have made something with this yet!!}}
4. create some more screen-printing designs and get busy with the printing.  Maybe even upload a design to Spoonflower and print some of our own fabric.

5.  make some things for my kids and home - I've never yet made a quilt and actually kept it.  I've very slowly been making blocks for a quilt each for my kids - so more blocks at least are at the top of the list.

6. get better, much better, way way waaaaay better with all the blog stuff - the photos, Flickr, and the blog itself.  So much to learn.  So-ho-hooooo much to learn.

7. on that note - learn more - take some classes - sewing, printing, maybe even learn to crochet.

8. this is my favourite one, and it refers to everything in life - 'do less better'.  I read that somewhere, and I just really like it.

I think that's it for now.  I'm off to do less better, starting now.  With wine.      xoxo cat
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