Saturday, 8 June 2013

Todays blessing

Today's bless is quite a large one . Its all those things which remind us of the magic moments in our lives . Things which allow us to relive the memories even if just for a second in time. The smell of roses which might remind you of a grandparents garden when you were a child, The crinkle of a packet of crisps which takes you back to the weekly school trip swimming and the feeling of wet hair in the rain along with the crisps while waiting for the bus to come. A piece of music which was particularly loved. I have lots of these little queues in my memory which help me relive each moment. And the great thing about these memories is I am constantly creating new ones too. Like the almost edible smell of my baby son when I first came home from the hospital. Or the aromatherapy  infuser I have in most days in my home which makes the house smell off a mixture of flowers and frankincense. Another one I will always love is the feel of wet grass on your feet when you go out into the garden after a summer rainstorm. And the atmosphere in the air just before a thunderstorm. I wish dearly that I could put each wonderful memory and smell or sense in a library of bottles and then all I would have to do would be open the bottle and I could re-live the wonderful moment. This also counts for people dear to me who are not longer alive. My dear great aunt and uncle who were the two of the most gentle people I have ever had the Honor to know, my grandfathers and mothers two of which I was lucky enough to know and my aunt who unfortunately contracted cancer and was taken from me before I had a chance to really know her well. I love to have these moments in which we remember cherished times as it also makes us hopeful for the future. And what a wonderful future it is!!!!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Todays blessing

windy days are my blessing for today. I love windy days here in Jordan when you can hear the whistle of the breeze through the walls of your home and washing dries faster than ever. When the tall thin trees in my garden bend and wave as though dancing and playing together. Windy days always make me feel happy to be watching the dust fly by from the comfort of my home. When its is windy in Jordan its a wonderful thing as it clears the air which otherwise would be heavy and hot during the summer. Whistling winds also remind me of the many ghost stories I have heard and makes me want to revisit Jane Eyre or The Woman in White again but this time with an external soundtrack to boot.

I remember a wonderful scene from one of my all time favorite movies "The English Patient" in which the hero ( Count Almachi- think that's how you write it) is sitting in an old 1940s car with Catharine ( the heroin) waiting for a huge sandstorm to subside in the middle of the North African dessert. There is the most amazing dialog in which the count tells the history of winds throughout the middle east and there is such an electric tension between the characters it gives me goose bumps every time I watch it. I love the kind of romance stories which go beyond the cookie cutter girl meets boy , boy hurts girl story lines so often in the cinema now. I like to be challenged a bit when I watch a film and be left with the possibility for a great conversation based on all the details which were suggested but not reveled.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Today's blessing of life is chocolate milk


Well as a mum its firstly great to have something as a quick treat for my little one when he is thirsty once in a while and also would like some chocolate. From a calcium perspective I like it and also for trips out when we need to take something which we can give him if it is going to be a bit longer than we were hoping before lunch. For me its an opportunity to feed child in me who seriously still loves the taste of chocolate milk especially if its been in the fridge for a while. Another plus is that If you pour one or two into ice lolly molds in the freezer you have a relatively inexpensive treat for hot days. Which are most of the time during the summer months here. Have to thank god I am not in Saudi Arabia as they r about ten to twelve degrees hotter than Jordan at the moment. I have no idea how they cope. The Ac's there must have motors the size of Bowing 747s. So there it is for today my blessing ... more to come so watch this space :)))))))))

Our family trip to Tal Al Roman


 I just thought tell you about a new place I have recently discovered which is amazing. its called Tal Al Roman and is basically a beautiful hill close to the city of Jerash ( which is also a big must see for all those people interested in walking in one of the last surviving Roman city centers). The hill boasts the most glorious views and is worth a visit as it also has views of a near by dam which is also pretty impressive. We had a lovely family outing and spent most of our visit in a resort style restaurant and play area for youngsters.
 
here  is one of the views from our seats in the restaurant. The weather was really great, the restaurant buildings were designed to be like palm tree tents , and the children's play area was a serious thumbs up with Zak.
 


 
The first course consisted of this seriously Moorish salad with rocket leaves, pineapple and Pomegranate, hummus, chips ( which Zak loved) , various other salads and bread sticks with olives.
 
 
I have to say that these were the best Arabic kebabs I have ever tasted. So if you are ever over here go there and try it its to die for!.
 

  More lovely kebabs. As you can see the portions were huge and our table was covered. What I liked about it was all the food was served as though you were at home. Rather than everyone having pre-m measured portions we all had our food placed in large plates so we could share it out together. which was nice. And with such a lovely view and the gentle blowing of the wind through our palm branch umbrella it was easy to relax and feel on holiday for the day.
 


 
Seeing the craftsmanship of the furniture there was really awe inspiring. I added this cabinet to my dream wish list for the future  ( hopefully one day will have a  piece of furniture like this is my home- god willing). It made me realise how much people miss about the positive things the middle east has given to Europe in terms of decor and design. As I stood wondering how many hours it must have taken the carpenter to put all the intricate tiny pieces of wood into place to create the pattern. Wow its just mind boggling.
And the evening dinning room looked just as inviting . I will definitely be going back to visit again it was a delight to go!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Todays blessing

Today's blessing for me is that I have never forgotten my roots. No, I don't mean my hair lol I mean my parents and the home I grew up in. Its been wonderful for me to have a home of our own for myself, my husband and our son. And one of the most joyful parts for me has been adding creative little pieces of décor to make my house more of a cozy home I can emotionally feel my stamp on.
 
 
Like my collection of magnets which always seem to give me the message I need right in the perfect moment
 
 


 
 
Or the fantastic Hotel Hedgwick sign I found in an amazing little shop called 'Akanthas' which is in the quaint village of Tissington ( well worth a visit if you are ever I  Derbyshire) . They have the most gorgeous home décor and finishing for insanely good prices. I love the idea of having a home which reflects both your character and your background and travels and am always adding to my home décor or simply changing the arrangement of things so my environment always stays fresh.
 


Tutorial for a knitted glasses case

This is my first tutorial in a long time so am really excited about getting it just right. Now this is a  knitting and sewing project. it can be adjusted to suit your tastes. In fact this same idea for the case can be used to make a clutch bag , a small handbag , a purse or in fact a pencil case depending on your preference. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get a finished front photo as my sister in law was going away within a short time of my taking these ones and I didn't manage to get the last one taken. It was a present for her mother who she is going to go see in Palestine next week.

 
 
No the first thing you need to do is decide what colour wool to knit your case in and also a suitable fabric to line it with. This is a particularly easy and quick as the lining is literally sewn onto the knitted fabric so there is no estimating how big an internal bag to make and worrying about everything fitting together. I have used my own version of basket weave stitch, however you can use many different stitches to get a unique result such as moss stitch, a basic rib or even a plain garter stitch.This project is fantastic for those moments when you want to recycle some old clothes. In this example of the case the wool I used was from a jumper my parents in law bought me to pull apart and re-knit. The fabric is remnants from a couple of meters of material I found in a charity shop and the finishing button is salvaged from an old piece of clothing which my mother in law was making into rags for their petrol station car wash.
 
So...
 
you will need-
 
Wool in your chosen colour
Fabric in a chosen colour
thread in as close a colour to the colour of the wool as you can get.
a statement button or any old button
 
 
 
 
The knitted part
 
For the glasses case cast on 21stiches. If you r thinking about any other kind of bag or case increase the number of stitches for a larger bag in multiples of three as my version of the basket weave is in 3s.
 
For my version of the basket weave
lines 1-4
knit 3 purl 3 to end
lines 5-8
purl 3 knit 3 to end
 
keep repeating these two sets of four lines until your case is long enough to create a pouch big enough to fit your glasses in ( in the case of a glasses case).
Finishing off the closing flap
 
Cast off 1 stitch at each end for the next 3 lines and then cast of the remaining stitches and tie off.
 
Making up
I cut things a little short with this bit. At this point I get your piece of fabric and fold over the edges and pin it to the piece of knitting. I used some left over wool from my knitting to attach the knitted piece to the material but you can also use a complementary thread as you wont see it once the next stage is completed. Next you create your pouch ( leaving the shaped end extra so you can finish your closing flap. Here its better to use some of the wool you used to knit the case to blanket stitch the sides closed.
Finishing off

Here I got my trusty crochet hook out and , yes some more wool from my recycled jumper and attached it to the flap at one side and slip stitched to the middle of the curve of the flap. Here I did some estimating and chained approx 7-8 stitches before slip stitch in the next blanket stitch in the flap and continuing to the base of the flap and tying off the wool. Then I just added my button. And wallah a lovely glasses case.
But hopefully you can see how you could make a mobile case, a clutch or even a handbag by using this idea and simply incorporating a couple of extras like an I-cord  handle or wristlet. The possibilities are endless. And In the next few weeks I am going to be making a couple more examples of this project and adding some new ones to help inspire you to rummage out that old jumper you never wear and make use of its fabulous wool.