Saturday, 31 July 2010

Oh Happy Day.

Wednesday being on of my precious few and far between days off this summer the boys and I decided to do something special.
After much debate H.M.S Belfast was decided upon as our final destination.
On the way to the station we stopped to water the community garden, and found this old boy gathering nectar.

The train journey was as ever exciting for two young boys.

However nothing in comparason to H.M.S Belfast, we have been before a couple of years ago for the ginger one's birthday, but well 2 years is a looooong time for
these boys.

I believe there is a picture of me, my brother Matt, and cousins Clare, Kathryn and Ed on exactly this anchor when we were all similar ages, how Mum managed with 5 kids is beyond me, 2 was almost too much for me!

We all had a go at driving the ship.
In fact we had to fight a few old nautical types in blazers for the privilege.

We rounded off the day back at the ranch making and decorating cakes.

I especially love the smudge of icing on the ginger ninja's chin!

The perfect end to the day was a neighbour bringing round this tub of slightly sour cherries from their garden.

I can hear the Cherry brandy calling already.
Ohh bliss.
Love Nora x

Monday, 26 July 2010

Nora, thats me, has been a very busy girl.
Not only is it now the school holidays, but July and August are my busiest time of year in the old day job.
Still it does mean I get to play around with fabrics like these.

So I'm trying to be really organised this year lots of trips out with the boys
on the days I'm not working
starting this week with H.M.S Belfast.
Then on to one of the Ginger Ninja and mine favourite pass times on Saturday morning, the car boot sale.
Woo hoo! The game is to give him £1 and see how far he can stretch it.
Its amazing how much stuff a 7 yr. old can get with a humble quid and a willing smile.

Despite all this I have been busy making things.

Mainly spurred on by the fact that I sold one of my note books to a really really old school friend as a present for her daughter.
This little elephant won't be forgetting his up coming trip to Africa,
apparently he is going to be a diary.

The success of this summer for me has been the 5m string of scrap bag
festival bunting.
And now its back back back in both my esty and folksy shops, as well as at the Bermondsey fayre.

I've also listed three more notebooks and some needle cases, and have a head bursting with ideas of other things to make.

Phew I am predicting a busy busy busy summer.
Love Nora x

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


It would seem that my Gran and her sayings are making quite a lot of guest appearances here these days.
When ever I was having a really good moan about one of my school friends,
she would purse her lips and say in a slightly camp voice
" ooh, she's my best friend, and I hate her."
Somehow this has become mine and my best friend Ingrid's motto.
Last week was her birthday, so the family decamped to the seaside to take in a bit of fresh air, eat fish and chips, find interesting things on the beach

and in the garden,

oh and party the night away with my best friend.
We got up on Saturday morning knowing there was a day of preparations ahead of us.
And at this point I must tell you that Ingrid and I LOVE preparing for parties.
There is always a point about 2 hours before the guests arrive when we look at each other, and realise the day will only go down hill from here, it doesn't matter how legendary the party is (and trust me there have been a few!) this will be the bit we reminisce about the next day.
The great crudite incident of '97 still brings a twinkle to our eyes.

So I was fully prepared for something great to happen pre party.
"I've got a job for you" was her opening gambit as she thrust a mountain of plastic bags in my arms and shepherded me in to the workroom.

"Bunting Please, and make sure there are lots of Lidl logo's"
(Ingrid loves Lidl just as much as she loves preparing for parties)
A couple of hours and twenty two and a half meters of recycled plastic bag bunting later she was a very happy bunny,

and the garden looked like this.

And this.

And at night it looked like this.

The only thing more beautiful was the cake baked and decorated by the lovely and gorgeous Miss Moonie Moon.

And just between you and me it was as delicious as it looked.

How talented is she?
Don't you just hate her?
I do, but not as much as I hate my best friend.
Love Nora xx

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Wow it was difficult, there were loads of entries, and all were great.
However I have come to realise that the rules of the competition may have given an unfair advantage to those of you out there who really know the Flaming Hippie and my good self.
Our combined sense of humour can be a little left field.
Well done every one, there were no entries that didn't at the very least make us crack a smile.

I would like to say Alison, Very good, "tickle me again" and "too the left a bit" we loved em, but not enough I'm afraid.

And Kirsty well done for finding Finding Flaming Nora's two long lost cousins
Gordon Bennett and Blimey O'Reilly,
do send our love and say we'll see them christmas after next.

So with out further ado...

Pause for drum roll,
drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, ching!

Trumpet fanfare,
Taran taraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

The winning names are


Well done Lilly.

As we speak The boys are packing their bags, writing change of address cards

and saying their fond fair wells to the Flaming Family and tumble down end of terrace in a sunny corner of South London.

Eric, Norman, good luck in your new lives, don't forget us, hope the map makes sense, let me know that you have arrived safely, its a long walk with
such silly little feet.

Love Nora xxx

Friday, 16 July 2010


Nora is a woman of many and varied talents, none of them cooking, she does however like to occasionally flex a green finger or two.
The whole Flaming family are lucky to live in a little back water of Streatham in South London called the Ferrers Triangle, a place cut off on two sides by the railway, consisting of row upon row of terraced late Victorian/ early Edwardian two up two down , or if you are lucky 3 up 3 down houses and possibly the best local in London.
Because of its backwater nature a fantastic community spirit has developed, something rarely encountered in London.
There is so much going on here from our Street Party every September, to the pancake breakfast, via the HUGE children's Halloween party every October.
So anyway you get the picture, its a pretty special place to live.

The latest venture has been to take over two neglected planters that were on the pavement out side the pub and turn them in to community gardens.
After a bit of handy carpentry and a lick of paint they were looking fair sprightly.
We turned one in to a herb garden, with rosemary, mint, sage, sorrel, thyme, chives, lavender, rocket and alpine strawberries.

We also managed to squeeze a couple of tomato plants in there too.

The second we planted up with beans, courgettes, corn and peas.

Every thing is shooting up and the courgettes are fruiting like mad.
Its made a rather boring bit of pavement in to a local attraction.
They may be small, possibly the smallest community gardens in the world, who knows, but I love 'em!

I love the fact its bringing people together.
I love the fact we have a fantastic herb garden for every one in the area to use.
I love the fact we are already planning what dishes to cook for the street party using the produce we have grown.
I love the fact every one i speak to is proud of what we had achieved and feels protective towards it.
the fact that every one wants to be involved.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Sock it to 'em kiddo!

(As my wonderful acidic old Gran used to say.)

And boy did those kids sock it to 'em.

Saturday was not just hot it was hotter than hot in a blast furnace, then we gathered together LOTS of over excited children in a sports hall with a tin roof.
Man that was some kind of thermo nuclear melt down hot.
I think Kirsty, my glamourous assistant, and I lost quite a few pounds each on Saturday.
However the children were as ever fantastic, creating a mad range of spotty, stripy, highly coloured critters.

There were a lot of new faces this time,
and it being a family workshop lots of new adults too, mainly Mum's but with the odd Turkish Auntie thrown in for good measure.

Despite the heat every one worked really hard,
one Mum stayed on after the first class had finished and half way through the next class just to finish her daughters critter.
She claimed that if they left with it unfinished then it would never get finished.
She did write on her feedback form under what would have made the class better,
"a G and T and a daughter who can sew".

Then in the second class there was a random table of boys,
or should that be a table of random boys?
Most of them came unaccompanied and were quite frankly hilarious,
but some of the most independent minded and inventive ones there.

The boys always gain a special place in Nora's heart and as ever my little mate Leon didn't let me down, he is only 6 but has such an eye for colour, and always makes the most amazing creations.
I mean come on, who wouldn't want this?

My only regret about these classes is that because they were so much larger than usual (15 per class as opposed to 6) I couldn't interact with the children as much as I usually do, on the other hand it was great to have the capable and unflustered presence of my glamourous assistant circling the room, giving advice, threading needles and knotting threads.
I have always flown solo in my workshops before so having someone there to take 50% of the heat, literally, is a definite bonus.

There are lots more pictures of the day on flicker, just click on the link to the right to see them.

Don't forget to enter into the great sock critter's giveaway of 2010.
Just leave a comment at the end of this post before 2 pm on Sunday naming the two critters from the poster and the ones that make me and the Flaming Hippie laugh the most will be able to give a home to them.
full details are on the previous post.

Good luck
Nora xx

Monday, 12 July 2010

Give away alert!

giveaway alert!
give away alert! give away alert!

The Secret Sewing Club convened again on this Saturday just passed, on the hottest day of the year in an even hotter hall.
We all however managed to survive, in fact every one seemed to enjoy them selves.
I will be doing a fuller write up of the event tomorrow with lots of pictures of the children's creations.
Any way enough of this waffle and on to the serious business of the day.


I am giving to you my delightful readers the chance to win the original two critters that I used in the poster.

These poor guys have been living the high life featured far and wide, thankfully it hasn't gone to their heads and they are still very grounded.
No chance of any messy tabloid style behaviour here.
But they are not content, they came to me and said "Nora, we can not live this high life being featured far and wide in the posters, we are pin ups, we are famous and yet we have no names"
So I am appealing to you my dearest reader to help rectify this problem.
Leave a message at the end of this post with your suggestions for the names of both the critters and the ones that makes me and the flaming Hippie laugh out loud the most will win.
You will have until 2 pm here in fair London town on Sunday 18th July to leave a message at the end of this post.
I only ask you to please keep it clean and not forget to let me know who you are.
Good luck!

I will post who the winner is on Sunday night, so check in to see if its you!

Nora xx

Saturday, 10 July 2010

At the end of a long long long hot sweaty day
The flaming Hippie knows just what I need.

Look at it how could any thing be more perfect?
The bubbles rising slowly through the glass.
The condensation pearling on the outside.
I think I can even see a thumb print there.
That first thirst quenching mouthful, the chill trickling down your throat and spreading through your body.
Suddenly life is not as bad as it seemed five minutes ago.
Served in the garden while the kids are deep in a t.v coma.
A few moments of clam to appreciate the beauty of a cold glass of Lager on the hottest day of the year.
Then off to reclaim all rights to the box and a blissful hour of Tour De France highlights.


May be my Hippie knows what is good for all of us, a cool, calm, refreshed Nora, is better than the snarling beast with a boiling head.