Following on from a lovely afternoon crafting with Hillarys (which you can read about here I took the plunge and decided to enter their craft competition! Selecting from four of their new fabrics, the brief was to transform a 1x1 metre squared piece into something unique and eye-catching, using any other additional materials required. Whilst I do enjoy sewing I'm not hugely skilled and after looking at the fantastic entries on the Pinterest board I set off feeling less than confident!
I wanted to create something quite different from the intended use of the fabric, so stayed away from home furnishings and decided to make a child's soft toy (ironically it ended up looking like a cushion!) A good friend of mine is pregnant at the minute and her two year old son loves sea creatures so I thought this would be a cute present for him and a good way to discuss the imminent arrival!
I chose the 'Daisy Pistachio' fabric because it was the most sea-like with its shades of green, and also just because its a really gorgeous fabric. I started by sketching a simple whale pattern onto paper and used this to cut out two mirror image pieces from the Daisy Pistachio fabric.
I used a simple approach of sewing round the seams of the two pieces of fabric, and using stuffing material to pad out the shape. I created a little zipped pocket on the machine and hand stitched it into the whale's tummy. I used a bit of imagination and trial and error as I have never sewn more than a straight line on a machine before, and have certainly never sewn a zip! I made the baby in the same way, but instead of a zip I attached some little fins. I sewed the baby's eyes using black thread but used black buttons for the mother's eyes.
And here are the finished products! What do you think? Definitely a bit more practice required but I'm still happy with how they turned out! I have to say, the Daisy Pistachio fabric was a lovely quality to work with; easy to cut and sew and is lovely and soft and smooth so worked well for a toy. You can see the pouch opening for the baby whale below.
Thanks to Hillarys for a fun competition, which you can read more about here and see some of the other new fabrics on offer, and of course the other incredible entries.
There has been a lot of hype about the Botanist since it opened its doors last year, with friends and acquaintances talking fervently about the bar with a full sized tree AND a roof terrace overlooking the Monument. Whilst the chilly weather of late may, or may not, have kept people from the roof terrace, it certainly hasn't kept them from the bar. Arriving on a wet Wednesday evening, the bar was buzzing and the atmosphere inviting.
The Botanist are proud to introduce some new summer additions to their food and drink menus and invited me along to try them, as part of an intimate bloggers gathering. We were shown to our table and treated to some new cocktails and a delicious array of food for our tasting pleasure.
While we waited for our party to arrive we had a look through the new menus including the Anthology of Ales which was so aesthetically pleasing and ornate that it was hard to remember it was a beer list; definitely one for the beer enthusiasts, an extensive offering of beers from near and far.
We sampled four new summer-ready cocktails, each as fresh and fragrant as the one before. I enjoyed my Watermelon and Sage Sling, which was a little too easy to drink, and would be perfect for someone wanting a cocktail without too much of a punch. The Botanist Pornstar, with Prosecco Chaser was fruity with a good kick and the Apricot and Ginger Sling was spicy and sweet, but for me, the Passionfruit and Basil Crush really hit the spot.
We tried a selection of food from the Starter and Nibbles section, all of which were great to share. The highlights for me were the Goats Cheese and Tomato Quiche (sooo tasty, light and crispy), the Baked Camembert (always a winner in my cheese-loving eyes), the Salt and Pepper Onion Petals (light, crispy deep fried onion segments with a cool dip) and the cute little Sardines in a Tin (served warm with bread and hot sauce).
The Botanist offer live music evey night and to top it off we enjoyed an acoustic set from Hattie Murdoch, which was absolutely fantastic. She performed mostly acoustic covers, with a flawless voice and unique twists, which made for thoroughly enjoyable listening. I will definitely be planning my next visit for when she is in session!
Fresh food, summer inspired cocktails, world class music and fantastic company with these three lovely bloggers... what more could I want? Thank you to the Botanist for having us!
Why not pop in to the Botanist and try for yourself. There is (supposedly) good weather on the way so make the most of the terrace and the summer additions to an already fantastic cocktail menu!
P.S. For some annoying reason my hyperlinks are covering the whole sentence in this post?!
Welcome to the blog! I'm Rachael; Belfast born but resident of the gorgeous Newcastle upon Tyne. I'd love to share with you some of the food, design and culture this city has to offer, and some of the things I love in life. Enjoy!
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