Thursday, May 27, 2010


A friend of mine has the most incredible lemon tree.

She gave me a huge big bag full of lemons on Monday, great timing as our house has the dreaded lurgy...! I have been living on hot lemon drinks this week, and decided to make some lovely warm lemon and poppy seed muffins this morning to warm the house.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup poppyseeds (1x 40g packet)
finely grated rind of 2 lemons
100g butter
2 large eggs
1 cup milk

Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup white sugar

Measure flour, sugar and poppyseeds into a large bowl. Grate in lemon rind.
Melt butter, add milk and eggs. Beat with a fork to combine. Pour liquid ingredients into dry and fold together until flour is dampened. Do not over mix.
Spoon into 12 greased muffin tray and bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes.

While muffins cook, squeeze lemon juice and mix with sugar. (you do not need to dissolve the sugar). Once muffins are cooked, brush lemon sugar glaze over the top of the muffins, leave to cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

dolly drive

Some of you may already have heard about this, but for those that haven't, head over to Sarah's blog and check it out.

Sarah is organising a new doll drive for Free The Kids in Haiti. Their goal is receive 132 dolls for the children of Hope Village, but if they get more, they will be donated on to other orphanages too... This is a great cause, and for those of you that are super crafty and looking for a new wee project, this is your answer!

The only requirements are that the dolls should have dark skin tones, and they need a lot more boy dolls than girls. Apparently they are soccor mad, so little shorts and a top with number appliqué or similar would go down a treat!

You have plenty of time, the dolls wont leave the US until 1st November 2010 - so get your thinking caps on and get making :-)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I have been meaning to sew up some new oilcloth coin purses for ages. The pieces have been cut, lining carefully selected and cut, they have even been sitting with their zippers in my WIP pile..., for so long in fact that my tactful 6 year old asked me 'mummy, when are you going to actually sew those things together?'....!

Well, today I finally did - they are finished! I will load them into my felt and etsy shops this week! They are super cute and great for this wintry weather as they are waterproof :-)

I also made some non-oilcloth purses today. I had a few scraps of gorgeous Cath Kidston fabric left and it is lined with an equally cute multi-coloured polka-dot cotton.

And some interesting vintage remnants from Salvage...

vintage childrens books

I am a real sucker for childrens books, especially vintage ones. I have a secret stash of very special ones tucked away up high that I will bring out for the girls when they are a bit bigger (Lucy is a little monkey and I would be gutted if she cut them up!). Have you seen the Vintage Childrens Books group on flickr ? If you are like me you can easily waste away a few hours browsing through all the gorgeous images that have been uploaded... so if you are like me, don't look (unless you have a few hours to kill!)

I recently found a copy of the New Gift Book of Nursery Ryhymes. I still have my copy from when I was a child, but couldn't walk past this. It is a little worse for wear, but the illustrations always captivate me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

in production

Some new envelopes are in production in my studio this week (i.e. drawn, cut and stacked on my desk ready for folding and gluing!)... Where the Wild Things Are and Richard Scarry ones always disappear so quickly - some new ones will be from this book. I spend a lot of time searching for old/ripped/scribbled on copies of fabulous children's classics to make my envelopes - it is a lovely feeling finding the perfect book that has pages ripped out or drawn on and thinking I can make something cool from this.

I have also finished off some wee vests for the girls (from old jerseys). Lucy's I finished with a black and white polkadot binding. So quick and easy to make and such a satisfying project with this cold weather upon us.

Hope your week has started well - it was a cold dark Monday here... let's hope we see a bit of sun tomorrow, my clothes dryer is exhausted!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

sunday morning

It is a cold bleak morning here - hopefully it will clear up and warm up a little, as we currently have just about every electrical appliance in the house running (washing machine, dryer, oven, heaters!) to try and warm ourselves!

Date and orange scones hot from the oven for breakfast, yum!

Off to a birthday party, so that will keep us busy.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

weekend fun

I forfeited my 'child free day' today and instead took Isabella to Disney on Ice.

Wow - it was amazing! I have to say I was skeptical..., everyone kept telling me how great it was and how much we'd love it, but I thought it might be a little too Disney for me and wasn't convinced. I was wrong. I am a total convert and will be taking both girls next year. It was 2 hours long, but really fast moving. The songs were really catchy too, and Bella and I were still singing/humming them tonight :-)

Tomorrow we have a birthday party to go to. One of Bella's friends is turning 7. I always like the idea of making thoughtful gifts where we can, and the girls and I are suckers for books, so tend to add these to our gifts.

We found this cute box of kids recipe cards at our local bookshop. These are aimed at 7+ so they look ideal. I also had a piece of bright floral cotton drill left over from the art smock I made a couple of weeks ago, so I whipped up a little chef's apron this afternoon to go with it. Great fabric for hiding messy stains, both food and paint :-)

Hopefully the birthday girl will enjoy her gift as much as we have enjoyed putting it together!

Friday, May 21, 2010

and the winner is...

Thanks for all your amazing comments on my blog giveaway, it has been fun reading them all! I had fun working through and collating all the entries (some of you had multiple entries) and have drawn the winner today using a random number generator.

So without further ado, the winner is... Bellgirl. Congratulations! I will contact you via email for your postal address - hope you enjoy your prize :-) 

Another rainy day today, in fact it hasn't stopped raining for 24 hours. Thick, heavy, wet, pouring rain!
Lucy and I made a special trip to buy new gumboots, rain coats and umbrella's this morning as we got completely soaked yesterday afternoon picking Bella up. Funny how you think you have heaps of time and then the winter weather just hits!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kittens and Cowboys

Wow! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can't believe how many lovely comments I received for my wee giveaway, you are all very, very kind! It is always lovely to think that someone likes what you make :-)

Just a little reminder, today is the last day to enter my giveaway, just make sure you post the comment on my giveaway post (link here). I will draw this tomorrow night just to make sure everyone has a far chance - seeing we are almost a day ahead of some of you...

Now, on a completely unrelated topic, Lucy and I spent the day around at my sisters today. Her kittens are getting big and strong and fat! They are so gorgeous, my girls are constantly on at me about borrowing them - I couldn't begin to imagine what our pair of lazy old cats would think about that! But try explaining that to kids ;-)

Lucy and Alex spent most of the morning racing around in cowboy hats, in between mauling the kittens that is (if you look closely behind Alex in this photo you will see a ball of orange fluff under the couch! The kittens favourite hiding place as the little kids arms aren't quite long enough!

Just as we went to leave to collect Bella from school the rain started. What is it with rain and school pick up?!  It is now almost 10pm and the rain still hasn't stopped, winter is really starting to feel here... brrrrr.  

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sew Mama Giveaway

I always love a good giveaway, so I couldn't go past this Sew Mama Giveaway day and not get involved!

So my giveaway consists of a 'Sewing is Easy' lined coin purse and pack of 8 'Where The Wild Things Are' upcycled envelopes. Both items are handmade by me and looking forward to finding a new home.

How it works:
You get one entry for being a follower to my blog already, or by becoming a follower. 
Or if you don't have a blog you can enter by 'liking' my cattaylordesign page on facebook. Just leave a comment here or on my Facebook page so I know you want to enter!
For a second entry you can blog or tweet about this giveaway - just remember to leave a comment here with a link to where you mentioned my giveaway :)
International entries are most welcome... I love posting my goodies off around the world.

You have until May 20th 2010 to enter - winner will be drawn on May 21st.

Good luck!


*Update 18 May 2010: For some reason my 'follow' tab isn't showing up for a lot of you... but there is also a 'follow' button right at the top of the blog (up where it says follow, share, report abuse etc). You can try and follow me through your blogger dashboard, or just let me know in your comments if you can't do it and I will add you into the draw anyway. Thanks for all your lovely comments and good luck ;)

Elsie Marley's kids clothes week challenge - Day 5 & 6

I sort of rolled days 5 & 6 into one on this challenge. I had a lovely day finishing off the girls duvet covers today. I know it isn't clothing, but it is something for the girls, and they did need new duvet covers!

 I chose Alexander Henry Bird Seed fabric in pink for Lucy and yellow for Isabella. The fabric was just a little shy of the girls duvet width, so rather than stitching two lengths together and having a seam down the middle (and having to use twice as much fabric) I used white sheets to back the covers, and cut them wide enough to wrap around to the front and act as side panels on either side of the bird seed fabric.

It would have been better if I had used cream/off white sheets (as the fabric base isn't white), but I just wanted to use up the flat sheets that I have lying around. The girls are stoked, they were so excited to go to bed tonight (which is a mighty feat for the wee one who much prefers Mummy's bed!)

Now I just need to make some new cushions/pillow slips with my scraps!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I am going to a Playcentre fundraiser tonight, a quiz night, and our table has opted to do a Bollywood theme... groannnnn! I am not good with dress ups....

Yesterday a couple of us got together to sort out costumes. I managed to find an old sheer gold curtain, and some shimmery orange satin from the op shop. The others got some bright pink/green floral fabric  and matching organza from Ikes and we found some great trims in spotlight to contrast.

We sewed up some quick long skirts out of the lengths of fabric, then will use the organza (or in my case gold curtain) as sari's.

Last night I sat and hand stitched the lush turquiose sequined trim down the length of my curtain.

The girls had fun this morning trying everything on and clipping the gold chains in their hair :-)

... Now I just have to psych myself up for it :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Elsie Marley's kids clothes week challenge - Day 2, 3 and 4!

Manic week here so not a lot of time for sewing, or blogging! But I have managed to get a few simple skirts stitched up in the evenings so as not to completely let the side down :-)

I found this bright pink tartan wool at the op shop a while ago, and it is perfect for little girls skirts with stockings underneath for winter. Lucy tried it on for me this morning, but regretfully declined a photo - so you will have to put up with it sans model !

I have just this evening finished the waistband on the denim/duck trim skirt - another for Lucy, and a navy blue corduroy skirt for Bella (but it is too dark for photos... tomorrow I promise).

Tomorrow I will finish off the waistbands on these pj's for 2 of my sisters boys... she is supposed to measure their waists and send me measurements, but she hasn't to date -so I can blame her for their unfinished state, but isn't the flannel cute :-)

And, I am also going to attempt to repurpose this old, pink, French Connection sweater of mine into a cardigan for Bells.. I have already bravely cut it open down the middle (but that is as far as I have gone!). I was thinking of finishing the edges with a navy blue polka-dot binding... watch this space.

To see what others are up to on this challenge, here to the flickr group here.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elsie Marley's kids clothes week challenge - Day 1

I have been a little lazy with the kids clothes lately, and when I saw this challenge it seemed exactly the kick in the pants that I needed! So, starting today I aim to complete a garment a day for the rest of the week. Once complete the participants will be publishing their photos here, I can't wait to see what everyone else is up to. I haven't aimed too high, but will be happy if I get a few simple pieces completed.

Here is my first garment (although not technically clothing). I got the pattern for this cute little art smock from One Yard Wonders. It was nice and easy to make and quick too (which you have to love!). Please excuse my wee models saggy baggy nappy!

bed linen

I have an obsession with white bed linen. I seriously think there is nothing better than sleeping between crisp white sheets... Recently I saw a gorgeous white duvet cover, but I just couldn't justify the expense, and then it hit me - I only ever use the fitted sheets, so there are a pile of flat white sheets in the linen cupboard.

I spread them out on my lounge floor and measured, cut, and pinned (a large job with a super king size bed!!), then sewed a stack of straight lines. I used the wide, top hem of the sheets for the button casement, and only had to cut two sides of each sheet to make the right size, so there wasn't too much work involved. Just stitching around the perimeter then sewing french seams down the cut sides to encase the raw edges, and voila, a brand new, crisp, white duvet cover for my bed.


And just in time for winter and 2 cats with muddy paws :-)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Birthday Gifts

Sorry for the delay - here are the pics of my sisters birthday present... I made her the patchwork bordered apron from this book. And with the scraps I also made her a kitchen towel and pot holder.

The hardest part (as always with patchwork) was choosing 7 fabrics to use... but I am really happy with how it turned out. I wrapped with up with this divine cookbook so hopefully she'll get a bit of use from it.

Hope you have all enjoyed your Mother's Day... mine was full of bike riding (well, the kids, not me!)