Monday, January 23, 2012

Gong Hei Fat Choy!

Today is Chinese New Year! It is the year of  the Dragon!

Last night my parents, sister and her boyfriend came over for dinner. The plan was just to keep things simple but it is never just simple when it comes to food with my family... :)

We had what we call steam boat. It is when you have a big boiling pot of stock to cook meat, seafood and vegetables. It was a bit of a complicated steam boat, as my dad does not eat fish, Naomi cannot eat dairy products or beef and Lee, her boyfriend is a vegetarian. So my we had lots of things that were already cooked that did not require cooking in our pot. Lots of things had to be cooked seperatly in order to keep to everyones dietary requireemnts. Luckily my dad did not make a fuss about the fish balls or that would have been another thing to worry about. In the end we had tons of food! Roast duck, crispy belly pork, dumplings, meatballs, lots of vegetables and noodles.

There are foods you are supposed to eat during the new year. We were not able to follow all the traditional foods or the rules, but we did our best.

Made dumplings for good luck

I am making Lupi and Pilu pillows. I think these unusual looking creatures will be great as decorative companions for the sofa of anywhere in the home. I like the idea that they can come in different patterns and colours, they do not need to be matching.

All sewn up ready for stuffing

 Today I stuffed them and sewed them up all my hand. It was a tough sewing session but I finished all four of them. Because the cottons were doubled and the linens are thicker it was not the easiest of tasks sewing the eyes on and sewing them up my hand. And today, for some reason I had hardly any grip on the needle...

Eyes and bodies all stuffed
Lupi and Pilu pillows all completed

 It was definitely a slow start for me, work wise, this year. I only started sewing for the first time last week and even then I did not finish what I was doing. So, now it is Chinese Year, it is another chance to begin the new year well and my lazy start to 2012 does not count! :)

Today I studied Italian for an hour and finished my Lupi and Pilu pillows! And I also washed all the dishes in the dishwasher. I have not yet got around to working on my website but there are still a few hours left of the day. Then I would have achieved all my goals for today! :)

And I also still have to design a Dragon Suki before the year is over!

Now I have to make dinner.We have so much food left over from last night, we will be eating chicken, duck and pork for most of the week! Tonight we will have noodle soup to use up some of the meat and veg.

Happy Dragon Year to every body!

Monday, January 16, 2012

January so far...

We are half way through the first month of the new year and  I have not sewn a single thing yet! I have been so busy thinking and planning what I want to do, and letting myself get distracted with cooking, learning Italian and playing with my new shiny iPad. :) Each day is passing by at a riduculous rate!

After making the pair of Lupi and Pilu pillows for Francesco's mum with the same fabric as her sofa, I decided it was not such a bad idea to have them as pillows. Two Fridays ago, I went to Liberty London for some patterned fabrics. The fabrics are beautiful, a wide selection of different patterns and fabrics. I was choosing for hours! The plan is to have a patterned front and a plain back, to give a more pillowy feel. I went to the Cloth House to choose plan cottons and linens.

Everything is more or less cut out. I was supposed to start sewing last week, but have somehow managed not to.

New cottons and linens for Lupi and Pilu pillows


Also, with Valentines Day just around the corner I thought it would be nice to make some mini Lupi and Pilus. Today I completed cutting everything out the eyes and stuck on the spots so everything is ready. Tomorrow I plan to sew and it will be the first time this year!

My list of goals this year is getting longer and I have been finding it difficult to focus on one thing at a time! My goals I wish to achieve this year are, designing my own fabrics, making SukiSuki paper toys, start new food blog, write recipes on my food blog, and most importantly do my website! I need to start designing something soon or Francesco will kill me...

It is nice to get back into the cooking and taking pictures again. During the mass production period I was too tired to think about cooking and food shopping. The cooking became much more quick and simple and also Francesco took care of dinner more.

Last week, I cooked a celebratory New Years dinner for me and Francesco. We had champagne and cavier. For dinner we ate roasted guinea fowl with roast potatoes and vegetables and a creamy white wine sauce. It was so yummy!

Today I really faniced a roast dinner so I made honey roasted chicken legs, potatoes, parsnip, brussels sprouts, leak and carrots and a onion and mushroom gravy. I love roasts!

I wonder if I can sew all my Lupi and Pilus tomorrow... I will be happy just to use my sewing machine again :)
Lets hope tomorrow will a productive day!

Also, SukiSuki is now selling in an online store in the US, Style Outside The Box 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

YAY!! A new year has begun! And it is full of new hopes and dreams and positive thinking.

My SukiSuki fan page had 492 fans on the morning of New Years Eve. So i was wondering whether I could push it to 500 before midnight. It was pretty close but did not make it to 500 in time. Today I hit my 500 goal! :) And I did my giveaway draw. Five winners, from my fans, will be sent some postcards, a button and a magnet. Actually now I have 506 fans! :) And when I reach 1000 fans I will do another give away but have not decided what the prize will be yet. It could take a while to get to 1000 so I will have time to think about it.

This is what me and Francesco prepared for the New Years Eve dinner. It was a seafood feast! I plan to write up the recipes as they all make great party dishes.


I always get really emotional at the stroke of midnight. We welcomed 2012 at our flat with some friends, doing the count down with Jules Holland on TV, popped open a bottle of bubbly and then stuffed our faces with 12 grapes. 
It was a very nice way to spend New Years Eve, great food and nice people. Here we all are during the last moments of 2011 :)

Now I have to start thinking about what I we will do for Chinese New Years dinner. We are having my parents and sister over to celebrate. And the plan is to also design a SukiSuki Chinese New Years Dragon. I have 3 weeks to figure out a dragon...

It's the year of a Dragon so it should be a good one!