Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Vegan food on the road

Food in the hotel room
I decided to split my 'coverage' of the Festival of Quilts trip into a few shorter posts, in stead of one very, very long one. Today I'm going to start with a possibly less obvious aspect. The food. As you maybe know, I am a vegan, so that means that it's usually necessary to plan, or atleast research, food options ahead of time. For any trip, not just the FoQ.

I did a bit of search online and there are certainly veggie options in Birmingham where I was staying. But not at the NEC as far as I could tell. But I'd already made up my mind that I wasn't going to buy food at the NEC because it'd probably be quite pricey.

In the end I decided that I wouldn't go out to eat in Birmingham. For one thing, after a day of wandering the halls of the FoQ, I'd rather go back to my hotel and put my feet up. And Tony lost his job a couple of weeks before my trip, so I wanted to be frugal with my food budget so I could still allow myself to buy a bit of fabric. To be honest, if I'd not already booked the trip when Tony lost his job, I probably wouldn't have gone. (He's still looking for a new job, so please keep your fingers crossed for us, please! xx)


My solution as a vegan on a budget who wanted to be able to buy fabric was a combination of bringing stuff from home and buying stuff to eat in my hotel room.

For breakfast I brought some cocoa and spelt blueberry muffins I baked the day before I left. They were quite filling and they kept me going until lunch time. Nipped down to the Tesco below the hotel for orange juice - I don't drink coffee or tea.

Lunch: on Saturday and Sunday I had some mini baguettes I had brought from home, with vegan hazelnut/chocolate spread which I had also brought from home. The spread didn't need to be in the fridge (there was no fridge/mini bar in the hotel room) and after walking around for 2-3 hours, a bit of chocolate isn't a bad thing to look forward to!

Dinner: Friday and Saturday I went in the M&S across the street from the hotel and bought a couple of salads plus some bread and hummus. Nutritious, pretty healthy and cheap as well. Of course I didn't have a fridge for any leftover hummus, so I just ate it until I felt full (or felt embarrassed to keep scoffing it down!).

On the Sunday evening I knew that dinner might be an issue depending on when I got back to Birmingham. So I had planned in advance, just in case. I'd bought a couscous mix that just needed boiling water, as well as a bowl. I had some bread left over from the day before so I bought some hummus from the Tesco and that was my dinner. Not the most interesting thing but it filled me up.

And of course I brought home the pretty bowl. :-)

Lack of hot meals wasn't an issue because the weather was quite warm so cold food was kinda nice.

Lesson for next time: bring a few more things from home, like a tiny bit of washing up liquid, a knife and a spoon.

So it turned out that getting nice, healthy(ish) vegan food on a budget wasn't an issue at all. You just have to be flexible. And hummus is your friend! :-)

Do you have any tips for eating on the cheap on the road?

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Awesome lip syncing

This guy annoyed his sister by lip syncing ( an impressive diversity of songs an impressive diversity of songs) on a seven hour road trip. But she got her revenge in the end. ;-)

I smiled all the way through this and at the very end it made me laugh out loud! :-D

{via Kottke}

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Festival of Quilts - bite size

Festival of Quilts collage
I went to the Festival of Quilts and it was pretty great. And pretty exhausting. I'm still sorta processing it, so I'll write better posts about it soon*.

But here's the short version: I saw some pretty amazing quilts. I visited the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. I saw one Kaffe Fassett. I was a little overwhelmed by all the many people, at times. I saw loads of pretty fabric. I bought a little bit of pretty fabric. I spent lots of time on trains. I missed Tony and Blake. And I saw some pretty amazing quilts - did I mention that?

*I say soon, but it could be a week or whatever. I'm working on something that's pretty much consuming every waking hour at the moment. So if the blog is kinda quiet at the moment.. it's not you, it's me. ;-)

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Customer Make: May Flowers

Customer Make: May Flowers
I think I've mentioned once or twice how much I love it when people share what they have made with one of my patterns. It really makes me happy to see my work 'out in the wild'.

Over on Instagram, Sarah shared a couple of in progress shots of working on my May Flowers pattern. And when it was done I was blown away by it. She made my pattern look soooo good! For one thing, her stitching is perfect. And she used a lot of fill stitching.

Customer Make: May Flowers
But the thing that really blew me away is the colours she used. So different from the original ones in the pattern. That just makes me clap my little hands with joy. I love seeing how people interpret my patterns in different colours. Gives me ideas for different colours to use. Because let's face it, I'm pretty hooked on combinations that include lime green, aqua, orange and hot pink. Preferably all together. ;-)

But looking at Sarah's version of May Flowers, I think 'ohh, maybe I could do more muted colours'. Maybe. ;-)

Thank you so much to Sarah for letting me share her photos here with you.

Find Sarah on Instagram as @sometimesiswirl.

Get your own copy of May Flowers: Payhip or Etsy.

Have a Polka & Bloom make you want to share? Do get in touch, I'd love to see it! If I share your make on the blog/my newsletter I'll send you a 10% code for your next purchase. :-)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Inspiration :: Figurines

Many trinkets and tchotchkes have come into my life over the years. Many have also left again because of many moves both in Denmark and then to England. But these two figurines have stayed with me for probably 20 years.

They don't have any special meaning for me, but there is just something about them. Maybe it's the colours..

I think they are supposed to be the Hindu gods Ganesha and Vishnu. And I guess they are not the worst travel companions you could have. :-)

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