Learning Hungarian

Whenever we visit a country I always try and pick up a bit of the language, as someone who teaches about language the process fascinates me and I also love to see if I can work things out from the context of being in that situation, so much easier than learning in a classroom.

Mum and I learned quite a few words from just walking around looking at shop signs and street signs and picked up some useful words such as ‘tolni’ which means push, ‘forro bor’ which is hot wine or mulled wine which we had quite a few of, ‘etterem’ which is restaurant and our all time favourite ‘Szombat’ which means Saturday!

We visited Buda Castle on our first day which is a Baroque palace rather than a medieval castle which involved a ride up the hill in a funicular railway.

Budapest castle 2

Budapest castle 7

Next on the itinerary was the Fishermans’ Bastion next to the amazingly beautiful St Matthias church.

I am one day going to write a book of embroidery and quilting patterns based on my travels and all the wonderful patterns I have seen and this roof needs no explanation, look at those lovely hexagons!

Budapest St Matthias 2

I enjoyed taking arty shots through the Bastion windows and this reminded me very much of the cloisters we saw in Lisbon.

We also visited the Vajdahunyad Castle on the same day that we went to the fantastic Széchenyi thermal baths. These pictures are of the entrance foyer of the baths in wonderful mosaics, a real cathedral to glamourous bathing!

This is what the baths look like inside, picture from Google as we were in cossies and not carrying cameras, although there were some very silly people with their phones in plastic bags taking selfies!

It was gorgeous and wonderfully warm, the water was 28 degrees while the outside temperature was 11 degrees.


The castle was built in 1896 for the millennial exhibition and is based on lots of different architectural styles. We had a little picnic by the castle lake after our swim as it was a lovely sunny day.

Budapest H castle 1

On the way there we spotted this beautifully restored art deco house.

Budapest Art Deco House

Budapest Art Deco House 2

This one was sadly not open to the public though we did visit another art deco museum later on in the week that not only had gorgeous furniture and paintings but also gluten free cake! That was so nice after 3 days of wandering past coffee houses and bakeries just drooling over all the lovely things!

Budapest cake

A very, very lovely trip to somewhere we have wanted to visit for ages. I have some more pictures of textiles from the museums to show you in a later post, it wouldn’t be one of my holidays without a bit of textile exploration would it now 🙂

While we were away Mum and I were discussing our trip for next year. We are going to Seville at Easter but would like to visit another city next year. On the shortlist are Istanbul, Tallin, Moscow, Krakow, Dubrovnik and St Petersburg. I do love planning holidays almost as much as going on them!

Have a lovely week ahead, take care and thanks for visiting. We are in for some severe snow this week so hopefully it will not cause too much disruption, it seems to have been going on forever this winter, roll on spring!



Introducing Katy Cupcake

I wanted to make something for Ava’s first birthday next week but did not know what to do and didn’t have much time, only a few hours this weekend, so I did a little search earlier in the week and came across some very cute dolls.

After spending far too much time on Pinterest looking at all of the cute versions of this doll pattern that had been made, all in the name of research of course 🙂 I started the doll Saturday afternoon and had her finished on Sunday evening.

Doll finished 1

The sources for all these pictures can be found on my Pinterest sewing board.

I am very pleased with her, I have never made anything like this before, have often looked at stuffed toy patterns and thought that they were gorgeous but this is the first that I have attempted and apart from a couple of minor setbacks everything was very easy to do.

I am particularly pleased with the embroidered face, I spent quite a lot of time looking at different options then decided to embroider a whole eye but stopped halfway up, I think it looks quite lifelike.

I used a combination of two free patterns, the Black Apple Doll pattern for the body, arms and legs and the Josephine doll pattern for the head as I wanted a more rounded shape and cut my own hair pattern after looking at all of the photos on Pinterest. I also made some felt plaits which I sewed together before attaching to the head as the original doll has short hair.

I sewed the legs and arms onto the body before tacking it together but still had a few issues with that stage. I had to do the bottom seam 3 times to get the legs secured and then in the process of pulling the doll the right way out lost one of the arms. This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon.

Doll in progress 1

The instructions say, ‘flip the body’,  but it was more like a, ‘Call the Midwife’, difficult birth scene 😉 Luckily the neonatal surgeons were on hand to re-attach the arm so all was good.

I made a little elasticated skirt and a flower bow to disguise where the sewing up of the head got a little bumpy. The body is the original dress for the doll but after seeing all the cute little skirts on the Pinterest dolls I had to make one. And there you have it, one very cute little doll and all made from stash, no new purchases at all.

Am very tempted to make some more of these, I love the split arms to give sleeves in some of the inspiration photos above and the cute little shoes, we shall see how much time I have to play later in the summer!

For future dolls I would like to try and get the arms laying flatter against the body and maybe play with the proportions of the arms as well. I am very pleased with this first one though.She has been sitting next to me all day helping me write my book chapter!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Delightful dahlias

Well we are just back from our visit to Harewood, it was quite a nice day weather wise so we got some time in the garden.

As always the dahlias were our favourite, these are so pretty and the colours just wonderful.

The gardens were looking really gorgeous as well, I do love all the autumn colours of the trees in the distance. We had gone primarily to see the Victoria costumes and I took lots of pictures of those and the house which I will put in the next post.

Term has gone well so far but I am really busy at the moment with late nights and teaching Saturdays so crafting time is almost zero. Lots of planning projects in my head though and I have made the first of the Christmas ornaments which I will share with you soon.

The Yarndale stall went well, not certain how much I sold yet but had a very lovely comment from someone here on the blog who had bought some of my things so thank you Natalie! Here is the stall and you can see my bags on display at the back.

Yarndale stall - 2017

So just a short post for today, hope you are all well and enjoying the start to autumn, take care and thanks for visiting.

The prayers were answered!

We had a great time at our last event at Caldicot last weekend and were lucky enough to have good weather, a bit of rain on Fri afternoon during set up and during the battle on Saturday but the guys were in armour so couldn’t feel it ;-). This picture below is of the castle encampment taken by our lovely friend Pat on Saturday.

Caldicot castle camp 2017

It did rain really heavily Saturday night, we were in the beer tent at that point luckily so were just listening to the thunderous noise the deluge made on the roof of the tent! However all was well during the day time and so I got chance to photograph the camp as well.

Caldicot camp 3

Caldicot camp 4

I made a new friend, the Lady Louise above, who also makes head dresses as you can see and gave us some great tips on how to make a heart shaped hennin and came and joined us for our costume talk on Sunday.

Caldicot camp 5

Caldicot camp 7

It was a great last event, I got four more interviews done for my doctorate, two with some of the Plymouth Medieval Group who did a fab dance display for us on the Sunday.Their costumes are so gorgeous.

Caldicot dance 1

Caldicot dance 2

Caldicot dance 3

There were lots of groups there and the battles went really well, Ellie and I marshalled again which we really enjoyed. Here I am with my big marshalling stick.

Caldicot battle marshal 1

I have had a good start to  term, 52 new students this year so lots of names to try and learn! Bit of a setback when I broke the toilet Tuesday morning, (bottle falling from shelf smashed the side). It has been mended but was very expensive and I now need new bathroom flooring at some point 😦

Have been looking after Ted this weekend while Sharon is at Yarndale so have not had time to work on the jacket but have made a couple more pouches for Mum to give to her fundraising events.

There will be very little crafting this coming week as it is the start of teaching but Ellie and I are planning a visit to Harewood House next weekend to see costumes from the Victoria TV series.Very exciting!

Will be back in a week or so with some pictures from that. Thanks as always for visiting.


Fit for a saint

Here is the surcoat for Saint George. I decided to make it open sided, more of a tabard as it may well be worn by lots of people within our group over its lifetime and that way it will be a ,’one size fits all’, piece of kit.

St George's tabard 1

I designed the garment myself, a very simple and quick make as I only had one afternoon to do it.Basically it is two and a half metres of fabric folded in half lengthways with a little trimmed off the one edge.This meant I only had one side seam to sew. The width of it is 25″ before sewing it up.

I had planned to then use the length folded in half width ways to make front and back. The length of the tabard from shoulder to knee is 46″. I appliqued the cross onto the front before sewing up the side seam. The cross pattern I cut out from paper with a 2″ width for each end, tapering in to the middle. The fabric was cut as one piece then machine appliqued onto the background with zigzag stitch.

St George's tabard 3

I cut a hole in the middle for the head, this measures 12″ and I just drew round a plate and elongated it from the centre of the tabard. I bound the neck with a bias binding, using the quilt binding method of cutting a 2 and a half inch strip on the bias then machining it to the outside of the neck, folding it over to the inside then folding over the raw edge and slip stitching it to the inside.

St George's tabard 4

I am very pleased with how it has turned out and hopefully will have some pictures of it in action for you in a few weeks. I am not going to be at the event as I am in Spain but fingers crossed there will be a few on Facebook!

I have also managed to make a very cute pouch in between marking this week so will share that with you soon I am away this coming weekend at Ellie’s so will be back with you next weekend.

Thanks for visiting and have a lovely weekend and week ahead.

Here’s one I made earlier

Hello everyone

Hope that you have all had a nice week. I am settling in to the new role at work and am enjoying all of the new modules I am teaching. As I mentioned previously I have been doing some travelling for work and while in Liverpool recently went to the cathedral to see the Elizabeth Hoare Gallery.

The reason why I wanted to visit was that many years ago, about 10 I think but it could be longer, I did a piece of goldwork from a magazine which was taken from this collection. I was very pleased with this Tudor Rose design, my first major piece of goldwork and it sits on my mantelpiece. It took about 50 hours to stitch.

I promised myself then that I would visit the collection, well it has taken a while but is so worth it. The collection was started to preserve Victorian and Edwardian ecclesiastical goldwork and has always been housed at the cathedral.

What makes it very special is that when the cathedral was being built a group was formed to make all the things for the cathedral and those are also displayed there. So unlike other places where you don’t know who made the items it has all been documented.

There are also some lovely samples showing how the items were made and this silks case, complete with stitched colour names on each of the pockets.

The piece I made was taken from this beautiful altar frontal which you can see in its full size at the back of the case in the second photo.I think it looks absolutely stunning in the green velvet.I am very pleased with my version as well.



There were so many other wonderful pieces, altar frontals, copes, chalice covers, you name it all of the glory that is church stitching was there. An absolutely wonderful collection.I am very pleased that made it there at last and plan to take Ellie there one day.

I have not been doing anything much for the last few weeks but plan to get cracking this weekend on the ornaments, am thinking of doing cathedral window ones.

I have found a couple of tutorials like this one here  and this one and some fab inspiration from Pinterest such as this one using vintage linen from Jo at MyBearPaw.


Look at this gorgeous idea as well. Hope I can make something as lovely as this from Quilt Maven.


Will report back on progress! Hope that you all have a lovely weekend.
Thanks for visiting.