Monday, 17 July 2017

"Sweet Friend" Pique-nique

The Fox and the Crow

Aesop Fable

        A fox was walking through the forest when he saw a crow sitting on a tree branch with a fine piece of cheese in her beak. The fox wanted the cheese and decided he would be clever enough to outwit the bird.       

       "What a noble and gracious bird I see in the tree!" proclaimed the fox, "What exquisite beauty! What fair plumage! If her voice is as lovely as her beauty, she would no doubt be the jewel of all birds."

       The crow was so flattered by all this talk that she opened her beak and gave a cry to show the fox her voice.

     "Caw! Caw!" she cried, as the cheese dropped to the ground for the fox to grab.

If I have to be honest right here, and if I were the Greek story teller, I would have put a piece of chocolate dessert, like an eclair or warm brioche in the crow's beak, but cheese was his choice and I will accept it, only because it goes well with wine... 

My passion for good weather, good food and good company brings this project with Daily Like Canada to life. And I am truly excited with the result, because it calls out the sun even in cloudy days and it fills my heart with pure joy just by looking at it, and it makes me plan a perfect outdoor dining.

Materials used:

1. for the face : Daily Like Canada Winter Fox oxford cotton
2. for the top and bottom: Daily Like Canada Mandarine oxford cotton
2. for the lining : Daily Like Canada Yellow Dot cotton 20C
3. for the bias binding: Daily Like Canada Hill cotton 20C
5. for the handle: Daily Like Canada Hill cotton 20C, in a frame made out of Mandarine oxford cotton
6. accessory holders at the lid: Mandarine oxford cotton + 'Inazuma' magnetic button
7. Thick batting 100% for the walls
8. Heavy fusible interfacing for all the pieces.
9. Daily Like Canada Leather Tag 'Handmade'
10. Daily Like Canada "Winter Fox" Tag
11. for the embroidered napkins: Daily Like Canada Soft Mustard linen

Deciding on the shape of the basket was the hardest part. I wanted it to be quite deep to be able to carry higher containers for combo layered salads, but not too high so the jars don't roll inside freely. I measured my favourite glass jars in the kitchen and determined the height, based on them.

I love the rounded shape of the basket! I wanted it to be different and at the same time - practical. In a square basket, the corners are always left empty, when filled with round containers. Here, they stand nicely along the shape.

I designed the basket with a wide big handle on the front. This is just my mania for embellished handles :).

I made very thick inside wall protectors - all around the basket and the back. One pillow nicely nests on the bottom of the basket and another one is attached to the lid. All of the protectors, that remind me of baby bumpers are made with Yellow Dot cotton 20C, filled with thick batting and are hand-quilted, following the pattern of the sweet dots. I made the back wall with the solid Mandarine oxford cotton and accented it with my favourite fox. I have one more of this charming foxes, sewn on the outside of the lid, which again is a solid.

The lid pillow holds the belt for the utensils and the crossed belt closing with a magnetic button for the small wooden plates, that are more like a coasters, but on a pique-nique, who cares how one calls the plate where they put their delicious bites?

My basket is filled with fresh salad and sweet fruits, lovely homemade cookies with high-quality raspberry jam, raw nuts and a bee wax candle. In case we decide to dine on a sunset somewhere, candle would be a nice touch.

Another delicate feature to my idea of pique-nique are the linen napkins. To match all of my colour and pattern creations, they are made of Soft Mustard linen, cut to size 40 cm x 40 cm. I made the rough edges, pulling few threads on each side, drew one of the foxes from the Winter Fox oxford cotton and embroider with DMC embroidery floss in matching colours.

I love love love these napkins so much! The best thing about them is that they could be used any time, and I definitely used them firstly for breakfast as soon as I made them. I just couldn't wait for the time we are going out with the basket. The napkins are so much my favourite, made out of the softest linen I have known so far! 

The basket could stand tall, with its handle up, or with the handle up front. I like it standing up, so I get to enjoy the sweetest winter fox tag, sewn on the bottom right corner.

It is time to set up the blanket for lunch! Because it was raining last night, the grass is wet and a  blanket is required, a good one, with isolation. Nothing could ruin this day - I have the perfect cookies for the pique-nique. I call them "the Earth Flowers" - their taste is truly earthy, not too sweet, but delicious and warm. The chocolate chip is the heart of the Earth and it only adds an extra touch of warmth.

Hope you have your own basket, that keeps many memories of happy dining outdoors and is always filled with deliciousness. I would like to hear these stories. Mine are about to be written, this is a new start for my basket, and I sense - a very happy one.

Thank you for stopping by, my dear friends!

Happy summer moments!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Boro Style, super mini-purse

I would like to show you what you could do with these little treasures from HAORI.

On top of the extra care HAORI puts into packing these little cuts (7cm x 7cm), they always provide with the perfect combination of colours and for this mini-charm pack of 100 hand-picked yarn dyed pieces you get a perfect sense of what the company is capable of when it comes to design, texture and colour combination. You get to enjoy many of their fabrics in one little handful adventure.

Materials used:

1. This small pouch is made with scraps, I have left from previous projects, plus some charms from the mini-charm pre-cut bundle
2. For the lining, I used a one piece of HAORI cut fabric in matching colour.
3. Sashiko variegated embroidery thread for connecting the pieces together.
4. Fusible batting. 
5. 'Inazuma' Magnetic button for closing.
6. A piece of fabric for an inside label.


The beauty of working with HAORI is in the tiny details. If you are as passionate as I am about the tiniest details and thread weave in a fabric, this would be your choice of material to start your Sashiko adventure with. The fabric has such a rich design, that not only the colour is a leading factor when making your choice, and not even adding the texture, but the weave itself, that sometimes changes throughout the length of the fabric piece. And all that elements are purely delicate, no screaming turns and sudden stops, so that the tiny details are only visible for those who look closely. 

Adding the Sashiko embroidery to these pieces makes wonders... Suddenly the tiny elements tell much bigger story and you are now holding a story-telling project. With stitches and colour combination, you could enhance certain features in the fabric and mute others, or simply make your own story. This to me is an amazing experience!

1. Sashiko stitching used in connecting the pieces.
2. Fusing the batting.
3. Machine stitching the face and the lining together.
4. Hand-stitching the sides of the purse.

I am so happy with my first boro style tiny purse. It brings me so much joy and desire to explore more the technique of Sashiko stitching. 

Having all the 100 pieces in front of me and picking the colours that speak to me clearly, changing the choices and trying again, collecting the right shapes of fabric and right print, felt like puzzle making - something I haven't done for years. And it felt so nice and peaceful! 

I hope you find a bite of inspiration in my recipe for this mini-purse! It is all about improvising and trying. Every time you are approaching a boro make, you must be aware that it would be a unique, one of its kind make. And that is another reason to feel special and important. 

Thank you so much for being my guests, dear friends! It is always my pleasure and true honour to host this half an hour for you!

Wishing you an adventurous experimenting!