Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Thursday, 26 February 2015

A new home for Strandom

Hallo there! 

I've been very busy working on a brand new blog and website (hopefully an online shop too!) the past few weeks. I will be posting over there from when it goes live (or launches...) and I'll leave the new address here for you all. It'll probably be another week or two before it's all done, but I'm looking forward to it! All the posts from this blog have been transferred over, so once it's all up and running I'll delete them here and leave the link to redirect people. 

New website: www.strandom.com

I'm so happy no-one stole my name before I needed it either, haha! 

A sketch of Queen's House in Greenwich, London - from a few years ago!

Kathelle x

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Parsnip and Bacon Soup - Recipe

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There's nothing quite like a delicious, hot bowl of soup on a winter's night.  I came up with this recipe a few years ago; it's easy, doesn't involve many ingredients or too much preparation (perfect for when the wee ones are demanding attention!) and it tastes even better the next day.  

I've recently started making soups more often during the week to try and relieve some of the craziness of teatime with toddlers.  It can all be done during the day or the night before and you just heat it up when you're ready.  It's all too easy to reach for the pizza and chips when you're harassed but it's not always the best idea...

My husband takes soup to work with him most days in the winter to keep him warm as he works outside.  Blended soups are also much easier to pour into a flask at six in the morning!

Parsnip and Bacon Soup

1 onion
250g unsmoked back bacon (roughly 7 slices)
600g parsnips (2 large ones or 4-5 small)
1/2 large swede
80g red lentils
1 1/2 litres chicken/vegetable stock (I used one chicken stock cube and one vegetable stock cube - you only need two or it'll be too salty, you normally need three for that amount of water)


1.  Dice onion and chop up the bacon whilst melting roughly a teaspoon of butter (or oil if you prefer) in a soup pan.  Fry the onion and bacon gently for five minutes.

2.  Add the roughly chopped parsnip and turnip and fry for another 5 minutes or so.

3.  Rinse the lentils and add to the pan, giving it a good mix.

4.  Add the stock, stir and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked  and the vegetables are tender.  Check and stir a few times to make sure the lentils don't stick.

5.  Blend well and season to taste with black pepper and salt if you need it.  Serve with a swirl of cream and a sprinkle of parsley.  Enjoy!  

Friday, 16 January 2015

2015 To Do list... as opposed to resolutions!

I shouldn't have mentioned diaries in my last post, it was bound to be a few months until I'd be back on here, haha! 

2014 was quite a tough year for me for many reasons, so I hope to make 2015 what it could and should be.  I have a few updates to post in the coming weeks on previous projects and some new ones as well!  

I've also ventured into the world of dressmaking...  My To Do list is as long as ever, so here's a snippet of what's on it and what I plan to work on in the near future, DV.

I have six PDF patterns from The Peekaboo Pattern Shop on Etsy to work on, four of which I have done or intend to do soon.  (I got them for Christmas!) These four are:

Hampton Hoodie: Women's Hoodie Sewing Pattern, Shirt Sewing Pattern for Women
The Hampton Hoody for myself
Classic Sweatshirt: Hoodie Sewing Pattern, Sweatshirt Sewing Pattern
The Classic Sweatshirt for Miss EJ

Alex and Anna Winter PJs for both DJ and EJ
Oopsy Daisy Overalls Jumper: Jumper Sewing Pattern, Jumperalls, Overalls Jumper Pattern
Oopsy Daisy Overalls Jumper for Miss EJ

 I also got the Classic Chinos and the Classic Oxford Button Up Shirt patterns for when required... It was so hard to stick to just five or six.  I think they'll prove very useful and wearable with potential for variations.  The great thing about the kids patterns especially is that they have such a great range of sizes, a lot go up to age twelve! You could definitely get your money's worth with these.

Also on the To-Do List (no, that's not enough...)  is finish piecing DJs "Double Crossed Quilt" by Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter.  I chose similar colours to those in her quilt, with added cars and planes and diggers for a vehicle mad little boy! It's the twin size I'm working on, so there's no major hurry as such... ahem...

Double Crossed Quilt PATTERN

Last year, I purchased the Moneta dress pattern by Colette and really wanted to get started but can't decide what fabric to make it in... it needs three metres of jersey and I really want to love my choice before buying anything.

Oh and on a slightly urgent note, Mr P. needs work shirts!

There's probably more ideas lurking in the far corners of my brain and Pinterest, but that should keep me busy for now!  My lists are legendary.

I'll be posting updates on my 2015 To Do list to keep you informed on my progress.  

What's on your sewing list? Please comment if you have one too :)

Kathelle x

Friday, 5 September 2014

Strandom - Block of the Month sneak preview!

Ah my poor blog... neglected like my diaries of old! Hopefully not any more though.  It's been a very busy few months here, as I'm sure it has been for most of you!  I've done two workshops at The Sew Room in Alford now, so I'm semi-officially a sewing tutor :) (More details and pics soon!) 

In summer holiday terms we've been to John O'Groats and back, Dunrobin Castle (after 5 years of nearly getting there!) and a lovely wedding of dear friends of ours.

This is a sneak preview (you saw it here first!) of a Block of the Month sampler quilt series we're hoping to start very soon at The Sew Room.  I decided to play with solids for a change, which is quite fun :)

Kathelle x

Friday, 20 June 2014

A past life in the world of architecture...

Balsa structural model - 1st year
Well, this week my year in uni received their results for their Masters in Architecture... Why was I not with them, you may ask?  That'd be a long story, but suffice it to say it was one of the hardest decisions of my life so far, and yet one that I don't regret.

Haberdasher's Hall scale model, 2nd Year
I've always had an interest in it, and still do - I love seeing what people on my class have been working on, though there's only one friend I keep in touch with now, a very good and kind friend who was my tea and model making buddy! :)

Wee mannie in final conceptual model, 2nd year

My time was not wasted, and what I learnt - both academically and with regards to life - has been invaluable.  My husband, as you may know, is a stonemason (fancy that, architecture student and a stonemason!) and when he comes home from work I understand most of what he tells me because of what I learnt (the rest I quiz him until I do!) For example, tonight we were re-pointing the cement around our window and he let me have a go - I rather enjoyed it and it wasn't too bad for a first attempt haha!

Quaker Meeting House, Stonehaven - 2nd year

I sometimes wonder what life would've been like if I'd carried on, but then I would've been miserable and stressed, we would've got married later and I wouldn't in all likelihood have my two precious little children.  Some people see going to uni and getting a degree as the be all and end all for school pupils, but though it definitely has it's place - it's not for everyone, it was never meant to be. 

My last proper Studio project in 3rd year - a library in St. Andrews

Mr P. is a building geek sometimes (in the best sense!) as he has books and books on masonry, surveying, building history, technical details...  I was going to sell most of my textbooks after uni, he had a flick through and decided to keep them all! haha!  I never had his passion for my course, I should've known, but I was too scared of what people would say if I of all people left - what, Kathelle, the Dux?? Yes, me.  I would've loved to study embroidery with the Royal School of Needlework or done Textiles in Art School (I think the latter would've been more me), but we are where we are.  God's plans are beyond our reasoning and so much better in the long run that anything we'd do! 

Waldorf School, Stonehaven - 2nd year

Look up! Conceptual project, 2nd year

I am now a sewing and quilting geek - I love to find out new techniques, more about different materials, trying out new things, buying more books... I have a passion for what I do now that is greater than what I have for architecture.  Sure, it's a great thing to be able to design people's homes and public buildings but I want to fill those homes with pattern and colour and warmth that only textiles and quilts can bring.  I can only do small things at the moment, but it's the small details that make a difference...   

Friday, 13 June 2014

Nursery for two! Decorating for a boy and a girl - Part 3

As part of the room "makeover", one of the first things we did was get rid of old mismatched furniture (well, hid one in the wardrobe and put the broken one to local recycling!).  We bought a new cabinet from Argos, to match the chest of drawers, to store their books and what had been in the old bedside cabinets.  

It's amazing how much surface space it cleared up! The books were just piled up because we had nowhere to put them, and DJ couldn't reach them... :(

Kids Scandinavia 4 Cube Storage Unit
When it arrived, I thought I'd save Mr P. a job, as he's always so busy on Saturdays, and decided to put it together myself.  I rather enjoy building the old flatpack furniture haha!  However, I did not quite bargain for a cheeky little 18 month old in the process...  Whilst EJ was asleep we put it together, and remarkably all was going rather well (considering a little boy's liking for wood and tools...) until I had to put the top on.  

  I just managed to align the dowels and screws on one side, I moved to the other side to align that - and DJ goes and pulls the first side to "help" thus undoing my good work!  Cue exasperated but rather amused mother, haha!  I tried again to no avail, nearly lined up... and then pop! DJ was at it again.  At this point I plonked him in his cot so he could watch but not touch haha!  Otherwise I honestly think I'd still be at it ;)

Anyway, Mr. P. was very happy and proceeded to beeswax it at the next opportunity (the furniture is unfinished on arrival).  We then covered the rather dull chipbboard shelf backing with a lovely bright starry fabric with some PVA spread over the surface as evenly and relatively thinly as possible before it was pinned in place.  And voila!  Much better! :)  Now he can reach his books, he loves reading them and even tries to read them to his wee sister sometimes!
  Next post on this will be on EJ's side which is as yet very blank...:(  I have ideas and the materials but it needs done! :)

Kathelle x