Sunday, 31 July 2011

Wantobe Quilter Campaign

Madame Samm over at Sew WE Quilt is starting an incredible campaign to get more people quilting.  
It involves 3 months of giveaways 5 days a week.  
It starts tomorrow, August 1.
  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are for newbies
and Tuesdays and Thursdays are for those who know their way round the a block.
To participate in the giveaways, you need to register first.  
So head over there now by clicking on the button above.  
It looks like it could be a lot of fun!
For a sneek peek of what you can win, click here.

July Mosaic

July is drawing to a close
the month when we moved home and had a fabulous holiday
when we celebrated my mum`s birthday
August is set to be a different month altogether
one of the hottest months in Morocco when temperatures routinely hit the mid 40 Cs (115 F)
it also brings a new moon
and the month of Ramadan
a time when people here reconnect spiritually
and turn over new leaves
a time for family
for fasting from sunrise until sunset
15 hours without food or drink
a time for frayed tempers also brings my birthday
what will August`s mosaic look like?

During the month of August, I`m participating in The August Break 2011.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - Summer Evening Cycling

The only time it`s possible at the moment to cycle on a shiny red bike (with one flat tyre) is in the evening. Otherwise it`s just too hot. Linking up as usual with Tracy at Hey Harriet.

Perhaps it was the heat or a rush of  blood to the head but yesterday I was over at uber-talented Nicolette`s blog, Dutch Comfort and read this post about the Camelot quilt by Trish Harper. I thought it was absolutely gorgeous although anything Nicolette does is amazing (check out her lollipop trees, tile quilts, Dear Baby Jane and farmer`s wife blocks on her flikr page).  Anyway, I digress. I thought the design was beautiful and to cut a short story even shorter, I ordered it.  Far too ambitious of course.  I have a couple of pressing things to finish but hey, it`s something to do in the winter months.  When it`s cooler. When Zaki is at pre-school.  Yes, something to aspire to.

Available for purchase here.  

I have just realized that I purchased the pattern from Lizzie Broderie whose candied hexagons quilt was the inspiration behind Lynne`s HAL.  Now there`s synchronicity.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Joy Pockets

When it is 29 C  (84 F) at 8.30 you just know it`s going to be a scorcher. It`s been so hot this week that we have barely been out of the house and so I`ve had to look harder to find those pockets of joy - you know, those small things in life that make you smile?

Play-Doh moments
looking at the weather forecast and seeing that the temperature will drop in a few days
my son`s impersonation of me when seeing a gecko scamper down our kitchen wall
water pistol fights
a cool breeze in the early hours of the morning
buying new fabric
an afternoon at the pool with friends
contemplating buying a satellite of NASAlike proportions to pick up the BBC again
my mum booking her flight to come visit us in October

Linking up with Monica  at Bohemian Twilight.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Tart

Tuna, Leek & Mint Tart
I don`t really follow foody blogs (apart from Sue`s The Quince Tree) although don`t get me wrong...  


I think it might be the temptation thing.  You see there are many ingredients you can`t find here although by way of store cupboard items, slowly things are getting better.  People eat with the seasons here and basically if it isn`t in season you don`t find it or you pay a hefty premium.  So when I find a recipe I can find the ingredients for and tastes delicious, then I have to make it and share it with you.

So the other day I came across Emma`s blog called Frog, Goose and Bear and found a recipe for Pea and Tuna Tart.  I know.  It sounds unlikely. Now I am no big tuna fan but the mixture of ingredients sounded intriguing.  Tuna, mustard and mint?  In a quiche?

So last night with my carniverous husband away, I made my adaptation of this quiche and it was very very good.  Here  is my take on it.

Tuna, Leek & Mint Tart

Shortcrust pastry (I made mine and used 200g flour and 100g butter and a little cold water to bind)
2 sliced and cleaned leeks sauteed in a little butter
1Tub creme fraiche
3 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used Edam as that is what I had)
1/4 cup chopped mint (mint is easy to find as it is used here for tea)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (the mustard I used was Tarragon Dijon )
1 x 185g can tuna in spring water

1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3, 190 C or 380 F . 
2. Line a tart tin or quiche dish with pastry.
3. Blind bake for 10 minutes.
4. While blind baking the tart, saute the leeks gently in a little butter.
5. Whisk the cream and eggs together in a bowl.
6. Add the cheese, mint, mustard, tuna and stir. 
7. Put the sauteed leeks on the base of the pastry case.
8. Pour the mixture onto the leeks and pop it into the oven  for 30 minutes or until set. 

Serves 6 or 4 greedy

It is so delicious and tastes of summer - the tuna is mild tasting, the mint delicious and the mustard adds a piquancy.  Thanks so much to Emma for the recipe!  Go visit her blog  - there are some great ideas for all sorts including lunch box ideas.

I am entering it in Annemarie`s Summer Fair. I came across it this morning and so took a photo of my lunch. Click on the button below to take you over there.  For a chance to win prizes, you can enter one quilt (it doesn`t have to be a new one) and or one recipe and there is a linky up thing so you can go visit and find new blogs, get inspiration, discover new recipes and gain the odd follower...may be.  Win. Win.

Gen X Quilters Summer Fair

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday - The View

The Pharmacists` Club, Marrakech

Linking up as usual with Faith Hope & A Whole Lotta LoveFor more wordless posts, hop over there.

On the Tiles

While he is known in the family for his terrible free twos, he is more than making up for it in his threes.  Despite this he makes us insanely happy and for that reason I am linking up to Leigh`s quest to find 52 weeks of happiness one photo at a time.  I love this portrait of Zaki and not just because the Peppa Pig band-aid on his forehead is cut off and his scraped chin is only partially visible.  I love the shape of his almond eyes, his curls and finger nails, which badly need cutting. And of course, the lips!

After reading this post by Kat of The Kat Eye View of the World on repeating patterns, I`m also linking up there too.  I changed the photo from colour to black and white and then brought the tiles back to their original colour to give them extra emphasis (using, which I love). 

Monday, 25 July 2011

That`s My World - Woman on Camel

I took this photo while away on our recent holiday.  We were sitting in a beach-side cafe one evening just after the sun had set.  Families were still on the sand and right in front of us were people having camel rides.  I saw this woman`s joyful expression and extravagant wave and grabbed my camera.  It`s grainy and not the best quality but you can still see the joy in her eyes, which just adds to her beauty.

Linking up with That`s My World where you can take a trip around the photographic globe and see what`s happening in other`s back yards.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - The Plastic Bottle Rycycler

A donkey`s life is not always an easy one but this lucky one has a light load of empty plastic bottles. I am delighted to see last week`s Shadow Shot Sunday image included in the `Shadow Gallery` over at Tracey`s Hey Harriet and linking up there again.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

The August Break 2011

I know what my regular readers will be thinking...but she`s only just got back from her break!  I`m not actually going anywhere but have decided to sign up to The August Break 2011 being hosted by Susannah Conway.

While I have only been blogging a matter of months, I have come to understand that it is good to have a break from it from time to time.  I realized this when I recently moved house and had no internet connection for almost a week. There are no rules other than to blog only when you want to and to do no more than post a photo although if you want to write something then of course you can!  There are more than 100 people already signed up and it`s a great way to blog hop without having to read a lot and hopefully come across some great new blogs!

Camera Critters - A Kiss Anyone?

I love the colour of this frog set against the blue of the Majorelle Gardens...he`s quite a beauty and he might even get a kiss had I not met my prince already!

Thanks for all your comments about one or two blogs and temporarily losing my sense of creativity.  They put a smile on my face and made me feel much better. One blog it is then and it seems it was only a creative hiatus as today I won a high five from Heidi for this photo.  Heidi has a new photo challenge which she judges from her porch on a Friday night. Thanks Heidi - I must be first time lucky!

Linking up again for the first time in a few weeks with Camera Critters.  For more animal and insect photos head over there.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Joy Pockets - Back Home

It`s Friday so it must be time to find those pockets of joy amidst the chaos that is life.

a cheeky grin while `milking the (wooden) camel`
sleeping in our own bed
listening to the laughter from watching Tom & Jerry cartoons
couscous for lunch on a Friday
 a raspberry tart
off white legs (why do my legs never tan?)
 the holiday washing - done!
a housewarming present that is not practical but beautiful

Linking up with Monica and her Joy Pockets

Thursday, 21 July 2011

I`ve lost... creative mojo.  I must have left it in our old apartment as it`s certainly not in our new place.  

Just before we left for our hols, the pink Shashiko thread I had ordered to tie Deborah`s quilt arrived. It took 3 weeks to get here.  So this morning I set out to tie the quilt. My first `sewing` in over 3 weeks.  Perhaps I wasn`t in the right frame of mind or it was just too hot but I kept losing my needles, losing the scissors, losing my mind and the needle threader thingy broke and I just got in a muddle and a pickle and gave up..for today anyway.

So I`m leaving you with a photo of a blue and yellow parasol...well it is summer isn`t it? And I`m linking up to Heidi has a Hobby who is starting a new photo challenge called Hump Day `Hollah!` I only recently discovered Heidi`s blog and she takes lovely fun photos and well anyone starting a new meme is brave and should be supported...and the name is just great.
heidi has a hobby

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Home Sweet Home & A QuiltaLong

A pretty tile on the surround to our front door
We are home. And it feels good to be back. Our new home and so now we can begin to settle in.  It`s not even that hot here in Marrakech. A good 10 degrees Celsius cooler than when we left.

While we were away, I signed up to the Hexagon Quiltalong (HAL) being organized by Lynne and Gayle. The last time I pieced a hexagon was when I was a mum says it wasn`t with her so who it was with I`ve no idea! Like many people she didn`t enjoy her hexagon experience and so I`m hoping mine will be better. Under Lynne and Gayle`s guidance and with their gang of followers, I know it`s going to be fun!


With no LQS, I looked to the internet for fabric inspiration.  I originally intended to pick individual fabrics but saw this line by Dena Fishbein.  It`s Kumari Garden Holiday and being a sucker for pinks and greens, I was seduced.
However, it wasn`t in stock and so I looked elsewhere and ordered it.  Or did I?  Falling for a bargain what I in fact ordered was Kumari Garden...which is this.
The vital word `Holiday` is missing.  Never mind.  It`s a huge bundle and I`m sure it`s going to be great.  So it should be here in a week or so and until then I`ll have to watch from the sidelines and am hoping I don`t get too left behind. Wait for meeeee!

By the way, I`m wondering whether to start a new blog dedicated to photography so that my quilting is separate but blogging already occupies quite enough of my time already.  What do you think?  Would two blogs be too much?

That`s My World - The Sea Kelp Gatherer

Is this where those fancy pots of anti-aging creams begin? This woman is doing the back breaking work of collecting sea kelp on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, which is then sold for use in cosmetics.

Linking up for the first time with That`s My World.  For more photos from around the world, click here.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

A Postcard from Sidi Bouzid #4

Sunset over El Jadida

We leave for home tomorrow after 15 days here in Sidi Bouzid. 

Here`s another sunset (an orange one this time) over the coastal town of El Jadida. We were on our way to a cafe for an early evening smoothie of milk, ground almonds and avocado when the sky turned orange.  After grumbling aloud that I would love to take a photo my husband pulled over and I got this shot.  I like how you can see at least 3 mosques on the skyline and then a crane on the far left, with the figures on the beach almost reflecting the skyline.

One more cool evening, one more chilly morning then heat and more heat and days inside because it`s too hot to venture out.  Back to Marrakech.  See you on the other side...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - Long Tall Sally

The cut-through

For more shadowy shots, head over to Hey Harriet.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Joy Pockets - on Holiday Part II

a pink Turner sunset
 listening to Adele`s `Someone Like You`
hunting with Zaki for `slobsters` in the rock pools
leaving footprints in the sand
watching the outdoor music festival from our balcony
walking in the surf
popping seaweed 
not wearing makeup
eating chewy macaroons on the beach with sandy hands 
daring to dream of what the future might hold

Linking up with Monica`s Joy Pockets over at Bohemian Twilight.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A Postcard from Sidi Bouzid #3

We`re on the home stretch of our holiday and I`m imagining  that your diet of seaside shots is starting to become satiated. Before you leave, here is a photo of an illegal and very laden peddler at the beach in Oualidia. This small beach resort is becoming quite upmarket and has banned beach hawkers. This can be quite irritating when the urge for a can of something or an ice cream takes you or a lollipop for your young child.  It is all the more unusual given the king`s recent instructions to authorities that people should be allowed to earn the simplest of livings without interference.

Those orange inflatables are certainly a summertime treat for someone. 

As always, wish you were here! Annabella

Linking up with Summertime Treats at The 52 Photos Project here.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Monday, 11 July 2011

..and now I`m an Artsee Blogger Too

The most beautiful roadside vegetable stall at Sidi Abdullah
The very talented Geri Centonze, sister of very talented Diane of Random Thoughts Do or `Di` has set up a new blog today which aims to provide a place for art bloggers of all different mediums (photography, fabric arts, jewelery, paper crafts, digital art, mixed media and drawing and painting) to list their blog (in up to 3 different categories) as a way to help people discover new blogs that might interest them.  It looks like it`s going to be a great way to improve traffic to your blog so whether you are a photographer, quilter or whatever, what are you waiting for?  Click on the button below, get over there and get yourself listed.

Artsee Bloggers

A Mud Lark in Oualidia

Yesterday, we celebrated my mum`s big `0` birthday by hopping in the car and traveling south for an hour to the pretty coastal town of Oualidia, which I blogged about here in March.  It had a very different feel to it yesterday with the lovely sandy beach and lagoon crowded with Moroccans enjoying their summer holidays together now that the Baccalaureat results are out and before the onset of Ramadan in a couple of weeks time.
To me,the beach had a feel of yesteryear about it with the small pleasure boats and kids mucking about in pedaloes, and so I edited the photos by applying a 1960s effect to them.

There was the sand boy - as happy as...or a mud lark...

..the birthday girl enjoying her moules...
...and me playing at being incognito

Hope you had a great weekend whatever you were up to!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - Our New Front Door

A couple of weeks ago we moved house and this is our new front door. It has steps up to it and I love the shadows cast by the railings.

Linking up with Hey Harriet.  For more shadowy shots, hop over there and join in the fun.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Scenic Sunday - Gone Fishing

Linking up up with Scenic Sunday here.
Scenic Sunday

Holiday Mosaic - Week 1

We have been on our hols one week now and we`re pretty settled here.  Tomorrow it`s my mum`s 70th birthday (she looks amazing for her age doesn`t she?) and we`re heading down the coast to Oualidia tomorrow to swim in the lagoon and eat fish.Yum. 
Happy weekend everyone!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Joy Pockets - on Holiday

our pretty blue and white holiday house
shuttered windows and lie-ins
swimming in the ocean

having my mum holiday with us
 eating fresh fish simply grilled
watching the evening promenaders

seeing Zaki gain confidence near the water

spending time together as a family
and having someone to take my photo

Linking up with Monica and her Joy Pockets here.