Thursday, 29 May 2014

All tied up!

I have been on the sewing machine again! I have wanted to show you these for a few weeks but as they were a gift for my hubby for our anniversary, I had to wait until I had given them to him, just in case he decided to check my blog! You never know!

I have made him many ties in the past, usually with full on flowery patterned fabric. I went for something a bit different this time, bright, colourful and very eye catching! 

I also used a slightly different method this time. I used on of his other ties as a starting point to make my own pattern. I then roughly followed the method they used on the Great British Sewing Bee. This meant using a machine for the join and lining the ends, then hand stitching the length of the tie. I actually found this easier then how I made them before to be honest. It meant no turning through (which drives me mad!) and still looks just as good. You have to be fairly competent at hand stitching to do it this way. But as I have slip stitches many dresses in the past, this was fine with me. 

When looking for fabric in satwa, Dubai, I found this one below. At first I thought it would look awful. And in a way I think it does. But as my hubby is a technology teacher, he does carpentry and metal work etc and thought this fabric would be funny. I did it more as a joke to be honest. But he has worn it to school and I think the kids will think its funny. As hubby is young and 'cool' in the eyes of his students I think he can get away with it!

Just a quick post today, I have a little boy desperate to do some play dough this morning! 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Bab al shams desert resort and spa, Dubai

This weekend hubby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. 5 whole years! I can't believe how quickly time is going, the last year has been an especially exciting one! Moving from a sleepy town in Devon UK to the bustling city of Dubai in the UAE. We decided to have a night away in a hotel as a special treat. It has been a tough few months so we were all in need of some spoiling. So hubby booked Bab Al Shams, a spa resort in the middle of the desert. About 40 mins drive from Dubai. 

I'm not really sure how I want this post to go really... I keep toying with just posting some gorgeous photos and let them speak for themselves, or writing about every single amazing detail of our time there. I guess I will try for something in between...

The resort was truly a paradise oasis in the middle of the desert. It felt like such a treat being there and I had to keep pinching myself. It is the poshest place I have ever stayed I think and they definitely made you feel like a VIP! 

Beautiful, tranquil pools... 3 to be exact. We spent two full days at Bab Al Shams so made the most of these pools. We have been told to take William swimming a lot to help his recovery after his broken leg, so there was no problem here! It is pretty hot here in Dubai now, around 40oc so we were in and out of the pools all day. 

It was very quiet in the resort, and there were a few families there with the kids all enjoying themselves. It was very peaceful, with noise of birds tweeting and fountains trickling into the pools. There were really nice little touches throughout the stay that reminded you that you were at a 5 star resort, bringing round fruit skewers and ice lollies to munch on by the pool, waited on for drinks and snacks etc. we had a couple of lunches from the pool bar which they brought to your sun loungers to enjoy. The food was nice and the fruit juices were lovely. Drinks were a tad expensive but I suppose most hotels are. 

Our room was fab, beautifully decorated in a traditional Arabic fort style. The bathroom was gorgeous and even though I had already had two showers that day, I couldn't resist a relaxing soak in the huge tub! 

William and hubby enjoyed their first camel ride together in the desert and we got to meet some falcons! 

(Yes they did actually move, haha, this was taken just before the camel got up)

The roof top lounge was a perfect setting to have some pre dinner drinks and enjoy the sunset over the desert. 

We had dinner at Le Dune, the Italian restaurant and sat on the terrace outside. There are about 4 restaurants to choose from. Our first choice would have been Masala the Indian restaurant but it was closed that evening. The pasta we had in Le Dune was lovely, well cooked and tasty sauces. William enjoyed it too, although he was so tired after a day of swimming and playing that he promptly fell asleep after dinner on the sofas. The staff were lovely with him and service was pretty good. 

The staff also left this little surprise in our room for us upon our return after dinner. It was soooo nice. If you know me, you know I love chocolate! So this was right up my street! Really light mouse and sponge, a thoughtful touch. 

The breakfast in the morning was great too. (I seriously can't find anything to complain about or find any negatives, not that I want to! But I loved everything about this place!) there was a huge selection for breakfast, full English, omelet, pancake and waffle stations, fruits, yogurts, mueslis and cereals, pastries and donuts... We definitely ate our fill! Including William! 

We had such a fantastic weekend, I can't rave about it enough. The staff and surroundings made us feel so special and it was all the more enjoyable having our little boy able to join in with us and splash about in the pool! We did consider going on our own, but he just made us smile and laugh all weekend! His speech continues to improve and he comes out with the funniest sayings sometimes! It was pure quality family time! 

Would I go back? I think that answer is obvious!!!

Monday, 19 May 2014

Crochet African flower blanket

Ta - Da! 

I have finally finished my African flower crochet blanket. I'm not sure why it took me so long to finish to be honest. It feels like it's been on my hook for ages! I suppose I have done a few projects inbetween. Anyway, it's the first time I tried this pattern, I had seen it slot on Pinterest and crochet websites and thought I should give it a go! I like making different patterns and get bored making the same things all the time. This was a new challenge by making hexagons. 

The sewing together seemed to take a while, but I really enjoyed crocheting the flowers. The colours I chose were a bit different for me too! I don't normally pick girly colours, but it had done so many boys blankets in blues and greys recently I thought I should do something for the girlies. 

I chose to do a scalloped shell edging for this blanket, hoping it would mirror the shapes of the flower petals. There are loads of African flower patterns you can find online if you want to have a go yourself. I also found it helpful perusing Pinterest for different colour combinations. I saw a lovely one with White, blues and greens and also another one of just pink shades. 

Overall, I would say it is pretty successful! I love the colour combinations and I am sure a little girl somewhere will be very happy with it! As I write, I am getting a few likes on my Instagram pictures of it! Hehe. I would make this pattern again, although I would do a bit of research into the join as you go methods. I found sewing in ends and sewing the hexagons together a bit tiresome. Worth it in the end though!

If you would like to follow me in other ways, search for me on Instagram and Pinterest! 

Hooray it's off!


If you have been reading my blog lately, you will know that my 2 year old son had broken his femur. He had a cast on for 7 weeks and yesterday I took him to hospital to get it removed! 

It has been a very long 7 weeks and frustrating at times. As we live in Dubai, the weather is hotting up and it's been annoying that we couldn't take William swimming. So there were no soft play, playing at beach etc etc. very dull really. We could only take him out to places we could push him around in his buggy. 

But he has been so fantastic! He has always been a good boy, but it think he has been a superstar for putting up with his cast, getting hot and itchy. When we had the cast removed yesterday, we discovered he has got a nasty rash where the cast was. It looks pretty angry and red but he has been given antibiotic cream and medicine for it. Hopefully now it can get air to it, it will clear up quickly. 

Our follow up appointment is Wednesday just to check the movement he has got back, and to check the rash. He cannot walk on it yet, but he has been crawling around and putting weight on it, he stood up next to the sofa today which I was quite surprised at. He didn't say it hurt or anything so that's good! I'm sure each day he will show improvement. By the time we go back to the uk in the summer he will be fine. 

Getting back to arty activities today, with his play dough.

On the way home from hospital we stopped off at a friends for a while and she have us this cake she made. It's absolutely amazing! She has only just started learning how to do sugar craft and cake sculpting etc, and this was one she made on a course last week. She thought it would be nice for William to celebrate having his cast removed! How thoughtful is that! A very happy little tractor, for a very happy William!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Crochet spotting...

I was out at the Mall of Emirates, Dubai the other week and spotted this bright and colourful display at the Zara Home store. They had a beautiful bright crochet blanket and round cushion in the display that caught my eye. 

I thought it was a lovely way to brighten up an otherwise plain white nursery. It's nice to see a modern store selling crochet items, and in a funky setting for kids too! Just thought I would share it with you. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Simple girls dress

A special little girl is turning 3 next week, and I decided to dust off the sewing machine to make her a little gift. I have been living in Dubai for about 8 months now, and did not bring any sewing patterns with me, or equipment for that matter. So I've borrowed a sewing machine and took a trip down to satwa for the fabrics. 

I know this little girl loves pink, so when I saw this bright, fruity punk fabric I knew it would make a gorgeous dress for her! 

I searched online for a simple pattern I could recreate myself and found this one here by Prudent Baby...

I think the measurements are probably a bit big for what I need, but I'm sure she will grow into it. I would rather make something that will last longer than only getting a few wears out of it. The style is pretty roomy and flows nicely so I'm sure it will look cute! The tutorial was very easy to follow, the pictures were great, and as it is such a simple pattern, you can adapt it and change it up a bit however you want. There are quite a few other patterns and tutorials on their website so go over and check it out. 

I liked he little strap detail, with the one shoulder design. The gentle ruffle adds a bit of interest too. It was very easy to make and I would like to make some more. A trip back to he fabric shops at satwa will be called for! You can get a fab selection of prints and they are fairly cheap. I think this cotton print was about 15 aed a yard, so about £2.50? 

I got myself some nice striped blue and white cotton fabric too, I am hoping to make myself a dress from it but am yet to find a pattern I can replicate. If you see any please let me know! I have also been doing a bit of seeing for a gift for the hubby for our anniversary in a few weeks, so I will post about that soon. 

William has still got his cast on... Hopefully he should get it removed next weekend, all being well. It has really been dragging this past week or so, but it didn't help that I have been unwell the past few days. We have a few plans for next week so hopefully being busy will help the time go quickly. He has been so amazing though, there have been hard times when he has got frustrated and fed up. But on the whole he has been such a good boy. It is his Aunty Lindsay's birthday today so I will leave you with a picture we sent her this morning, a little collage of photos of them together and William with his birthday card for her.