Friday, 31 August 2012

Nearly a Teen

Every year September the 1st heralds the start of new things for us. Twelve years ago a little girl decided she'd had enough of hanging around and crashed into the peace of our twosome a bit earlier than we'd expected. In the naivety of my never having done the birth thing before I assumed labour was just a spot of indigestion. Mind you I'd been pretty fidgety about getting the cutlery drawer really clean and tidy that day so I should have guessed something was up.

Miss Rosey arrived a few weeks early and has remained just as driven to get things done when she puts her mind to it. She has a fabulous sense of humour, is so loving and caring, but can keep her feelings close to sometimes which means I misunderstand her. She exudes cool without even realising it, is the best eldest sister and friend Little Bun could ever wish for.


She is so like me in so many ways that we often can be found yelling at each other in a pretty mental way. Thank god it soon blows over and we move on. 

Now here she is, about to turn 12 (at 3.35pm if we're going to be picky). On Monday she starts a whole new adventure when she will be going to High School without me standing in the playground by her side. This afternoon we took her for a quick meet up with her year group so they could get to know the school without everyone else around. Despite knowing no one else she walked in on her own and told me she'd be just fine. My girl, who used to hold my hand so tightly while we went quietly around the room at nursery and checked out all the things she could do that day doesn't need me to hold her hand all the while now. It's as it should be and I know we've done a brilliant job to make our little worrier grow like this, but boy it's harder for us than them isn't it helping them move on. Small insight here, I've made myself get all teary writing this.


So here we have one proud mum and dad ready to enjoy seeing all the new adventures ahead for our birthday girl. 

I'll leave you with a glimpse of the only making I've been managing to squeeze in this week. The brickwork patch is coming along nicely and as I've been frozen most nights it's been wonderful to snuggle under it and run stitches along each piece. Hopefully I'll find time next week to bind the edges and then I can show all.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Mini-break

Do you know I really enjoy blogging. If I don't get a chance to take some photos and write a post I feel mildly put out. Finding moments to write a post around three days teaching and the Bun's being off school is becoming a real juggling act, but I'm determined to win. The same can't be said for me managing to read all of the fabulous posts that I see pop up in my blog reader. Right now it's late at night and my work bag is winking at me. I've a list of work related emails I should be sending and a couple of risk assessments I need to do. Lordy, do I hate paperwork. I love working with people, but not doing all the paperwork that seems to go with it.

What I'm really saying is I'm sorry if I seem rude and don't get by to say hello back to you. I get lovely comments and emails that I keep thinking I must try to find the time to reply to, but I'm not even getting on top of it all here so once again I'm really sorry. This morning I was slapping paint on our outside doors, stitching name labels to the huge pile of Miss Rosey's high school uniform and trying to mould a mouthguard to her teeth all it seemed at the same time.  I'm not moaning - honest - just saying it like it is.

Moving on then. On Friday morning I fancied a quick wee project, something I'd been wanting to make for a while. When we were in Lewes fleamarket Little Bun had bought a small bed for Daisy doll. The bedding was perfectly fine, but I thought it needed a bit more colour.


After patching a few squares together and stuffing a new pillow Daisy was called down to inspect her new bedding.


 She liked it so much so hopped straight in with a cuppa and mini Alfie Blue for company. I've promised to crochet her a small blanket before winter comes.


Friday evening found us on Cromer pier munching chips all excited about the end of pier show. There were lots of other people around, but I've managed to make it look like we're on a deserted derelict pier haven't I. The show was a fabulous proper variety show drawing on the finest music hall traditions. A perfect start to the weekend to be sure. 

Sorry about the capitals coming up, my computer is doing its own thing and I can't stop it.

On Saturday evening we were back by the coast again partying with friends while the Bun's partied with Nanny.

By Sunday we were running out of steam, but as there was a Village at War event we didn't want to miss we kicked ourselves up the bum and got going. In our rush to get there in time I forgot my camera so no photos of the madwoman with the fox fur to show you I'm afraid.

By today the Bun's just wanted to be at home and play. We wanted to go to a vintage fair in one of our favourite gardens. What selfish horrid parents we are to be sure. We only went for a little while later on, but they had a grand old time. 

Plaintation Gardens was created in the C19th from an old chalk quarry in Italianate style. It took Henry Trevor over 40 years to create the garden. After WW2 it was abandoned and became overgrown. Thankfully it was rediscovered and restored once more.

There's a ginormous fish in there if you're wondering what they're staring at. The fountain is wonderful with water trickling all the way down from the top.

Miss Rosey and I found some fabulous fabric to buy while our lovelies raced to the top terrace to spy on us.

After filling my bag with stash and an explore, we headed off for cake. We found a good spot to people watch and ate huge slabs of homemade battenburg. Mr Bun tried out chocolate cake with beetroot? Apparently it was really lovely.

Money all spent and cake eating done it was time to head across the bridge for home.

Here's what I couldn't resist today. The Liberty print curtains are from a lovely lady who is a dressmaker sizing down her enormous stash aswell as her fabulous vintage patterns. The old rose print curtains were from the stall next to hers. Turns out it was someone I knew from a while back so it was good to catch up.

Then as we wandered on I found the rose sheet still in it's original packet. Only problem with this one is that it smells of stinky fish which is probably the down side of being in a plastic bag for years and years. 

Miss Rosey was desperate to get the poodle print so that's what we spent the last of our pennies on. Both were from a shop I didn't know about before so come next pay day I'll be off for a visit methinks.

All in all we agreed that it was a brilliant bank holiday weekend. A bit of everything to keep us all happy. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Winding Up & Down

On Wednesday I learnt a new thing that I thought you might like to have a go at. It was an all over the place kind of day. First thing I took the Bun's to work with me and then put them into Mr Bun's meeting so I could get on. After that he took them to a museum while I was at another museum with my students. When I finished I met them and he went off to sort some more workstuff out. Then we met him again to save him catching the slow bus home. Up and down madness, but it seems to be working out ok for now. In the middle of all this we learnt how to make twisty things.



A dressed up medieval lady was twisting some wool onto card in the castle and it grabbed the attention of two of my students. It can be really hard trying to find something that floats their boat so I do a mental lap of honour when they show the slightest bit of interest in something. 

I didn't have a chance to try it out then so they taught me how to the next day and boy is it addictive. Relaxing and addictive. I'm not sure what the cords you end up making are called. They'll definately have a name as they were originally made to tie armour together. We chose to make them into friendship bands and all have one now including grandma.


All you need to do is chop up a square or circle of card. Cut 8 slits all the way around and jab a hole in the middle.

Next choose your yarn. You will need 7 threads so you can work out your colours however you wish.


Cut the threads all the same length and long enough to tie together at the end and generously wrap round your wrist after tying both ends together.


Push the knotted end through the middle of the card and then pull each thread through seven of the slits. 

To start making your cord is very simple. Count three threads down from the empty slit (either to the left or the right, but stick to this direction once you've chosen it or it won't work) and then move this thread up into the empty slit, pulling tightly down. Carry on doing this until a cord starts to appear underneath your card.


It should look like this. Once you have a cord growing, make sure you pull it gently every now and again and rub the threads together.


Quite quickly a long enough cord will grow and then it's time to measure against your wrist. If it's long enough, then pull all the threads off the card and knot all seven together the same as at the beginning. Wrap around your wrist and knot together. Make sure it's loose enough to roll over your hand if you want to take it off as it doesn't stretch.

The Bun's are loving making these, especially as they're so easy to do anywhere.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Caught Up

This weekend we longed to be at the beach, but none of us were brave enough to face a hot drive in my wee clown car. Instead we flopped in the shady part of the garden on Saturday. Like an old lady I fell asleep flat out with Alfie Blue sitting above my head like a hat. When I woke up I found Mr Bun flopped out close by on the trampoline. First time we've done garden naps. 

How I wished the sea was on our doorstep on a weekend such as this. Mind you hurling yourself into the murkiness of the North Sea is no way near as delightful as the chucking yourself in the Med.


This week's gone by in a blur and I've not managed any time for making. On weeks like this I feel an overall itch to get my head down and make things and it just never happens. That means that quite a list of ideas have been building up to be stored away for another day.


On Friday the Bun's and I went off to play in the woods and on the way back I managed to buy some new threads. Little Bun bought a hamster. She'd wanted a rat, so after a bit of negotiation we just downsized her dream a bit. We've had a fair few hamsters (which we've loved), but I'd said no more as I couldn't face the weekly clean. In the end we agreed that Little Bun had to save up for it and really really promise she'd clean the cage. Wonder if we've been gazumped. Anyway now Shirley Bubbles has joined the furry clan and she's very sweet, hopefully she'll be as loving as our sweetest hamster ever Tommy Buttons.



With my threads I'm slowly sewing rows of rainbow stitches along the quilt top I finished patching a while back. I sandwiched it all together with the softest flannelette at the back. I love it already and think it'll be perfect for snuggling up for wintry sofa cuddles. It was going on our bed, but I think I should share it.


My next plans are to make something for Miss Rosey's 12th which is in two weeks time. Not sure if it's too ambitious to try and make a dress secretly in a few nights to go with the Cath bag I bought her today or to just settle on a small toy worm from Wee Wonderfuls. Life just seems to be rushing along and I'm gaily trying to catch up with it.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Getting on with Jobs

Weeks ago my bike got a puncture. With all the rain that was happening, it didn't seem to matter too much that I couldn't go for a jaunt on it. Then when the lovely weather turned up the Bun's and I wanted to go off cycling here and there, but we couldn't because my bike was broke. When I tried to get the wheel off I couldn't because the nut was screwed on too tight. I tried, then Mr Bun tried, but neither of us could get it to budge. In the end I asked the very nice bike shop man if he would come all the way to our house to help. My car's far too small to fit the bike in and Mr Bun is carless and using the bus at the moment (which when you live in the middle of nowhere with only a few buses is pretty rubbish).

Well, the nice bike shop man came over on Saturday and did the wheel mending stuff for me. So early on this morning all three of us hopped on our bikes and went for an explore around our parts.  The picture was taken when we were sat in a field trying to dangle fruit pastilles on our tongues. The loser being the first one to chew.


Either side of the bike ride I've been sewing. I helped Little Bun sew her first ever bunting on the machine set at tortoise speed to stop her sewing her fingers to it. Mainly though I was getting back to the dress I started before we went away.


I'd bought 3 metres of the finest cotton roses fabric (which I think is from the 80's), cut out all the shapes, but not got any further. To be honest I think I was a bit nervous about screwing it all up and wasting my lovely fabric. I'd made dresses for Kitty the doll and for Miss Rosey, but never one for me. 

I'm a typical awkward shape. Too tall for off the peg. Dresses with bust lines are too short in the body so they cut mine in half so I have a four boob thing going on. That means the waist is also in the wrong place too. Then there's the fact that I'm really narrow, but with more than ample sticking out up top. That means I'm a 10/12 with a 14 happening down below. Making a dress which is really a blouse and a skirt sewn together meant I could fiddle the sizes around to suit me which seemed a great thing indeed.


This evening I finished my dress, apart from hemming it that is. I couldn't believe it when I tried it on and it actually fitted. The waist was where it should be, the bustline was perfect and it was just as I'd imagined it. I'd wanted something 1950's in shape and so I'd picked the pieces from the pattern I wanted and lengthened the skirt to way below my knees. Boy it was exciting knowing all that stitching had paid off and I had something I know I will actually wear.


The Bun's helped me out with the photos, but they were all too blurry so these are the only two I have so far. Anyway's I hope this inspires any of you who are thinking of stitching and are feeling a bit wary of it to have a go as it's so exciting when it all goes to plan.

Now on to something completely different. I'm usually pretty hopeless when it comes to linking up with awards, but I was so touched by Ada's words when she gave me an award that I really wanted to say thankyou back properly. 


She's been leaving me comments over the last few months and as it turns out, reading my posts for a lot longer than that. Recently Ada of Vintage Sheet Addict started blogging and I'm so glad she has as her blog is great to read.  I was really surprised and pleased when Ada said that reading mine and Jane's blogs over the past two years had really helped her through some tough times. Just goes to show there's one more positive reason for this little community. 

There's not much I haven't shared on here apart from personal beliefs and private stuff, but in the spirit of sharing seven new things I'll give it a go.

1. I find it easier to be blase than say how I really feel.

 2. I could absolutely stuff my face full of chocolate and never stop.

3. I dream of having an orchard where we eat under the trees and have donkeys, goats and sheep wandering about.

4. I really want to learn to play the piano. Big Band Swing would do it for me. 

5. I'd love to wear high heels and not feel like a giant transvestite in them.

6. In my head I dance like a diva. I'd love to make this a reality.

7. Even with a mullet, tight jeans and cowboy boots I still fancy Ian McShane as Lovejoy. 
 
I'm not going to move the award on properly. I just love reading so many blogs so I wouldn't know where to begin without feeling bad I'd left someone out.

See you at the end of the working week.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Long Weekends

It was back to work this week. Two and a half days in the middle of the week trying to engage and inspire ten teens that have been written off by the educational system. It's really hard being at work when my lovelies are off on holiday, but luckily as the days are so intense I don't really have any time to think about it.

On Thursday afternoon I started getting excited about the lovely weather and the promise of a wonderful Friday adventure with the Bun's. I got up extra extra early on Friday so I could stitch up something that's been tumbling about in my head this week before we set off.

 
I wanted to see if a garland would work in a mix of crochet, fabric and paper. Mr Bun couldn't believe I was about to chop up a book, but I gritted my teeth and off I went.


I chopped a mix of small wordy circles, chose some larger images I liked best, hooked a few circles and then chopped some fabric to match. After that, all I needed to do was to stitch a line through the whole lot and then hang it up. My Mr Bun is under the cushion in the mirror. I yelled I can see you and so he hid. His desire to play a starring role on here is non-existent.


My other boy loves being on here though. Mr Alfie Blue gets in when he can. He's got very itchy skin so I thought a new clean bed might help. I've also ordered something called Resist and Billy No Mates for him to try after Annie told me about it.


I actually made it for him this afternoon, but I thought I'd show you my makes first.  

Just in case Alfie didn't know it was his, I added a big red A. It's all stuffed with his old bean bag so it has some familiar smells, but apart from sitting on it for this photo, he's not been near it since.


Now back to Friday. Our first job was to pop into town and collect some fabric I'd bought at the weekend. It was being used as a tablecloth at the time, so it was pretty impossible to take it there and then. As I happened to be at Vintage Mischief again I bought another couple of pieces of fabric to make me less unhappy about losing out on some I loved on ebay.


After that we hopped in the car and headed in the direction of the coast. No picnic packed for a change so only a bucket, spade and a couple of towels to carry. We parked behind the boating lake and cut through the back of it to the prom. There was a carousel just in front so I promised Little Bun a ride on the way back. First stop was the beach hut cafe for cheese toasties and then we set up camp on the sand.


Miss Rosey felt a bit yucky so she read her book for a time while Little Bun and I did a spot of sand art.


First we made a mermaid, which looks a bit creepy now.


My favourite was the starfish we made next.


Then we made a cheeky fish, but gave up with the crab as I couldn't remember how many legs it should have.


After an ice cold paddle we climbed up on the prom again and sat on the steps to eat our 99's.


On the way back to the car we made sure we had that spin on the carousel after a stroll on the pier.


It was the perfect summer holiday day I'd been looking forward to with my girls all week. Next week their daddy will be off work with them, while I go to work. I wonder what mischief they'll get up to?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Pootling

This weekend promised lots of treasure and goodies to be searched for and brought home. There were markets and fairs being held here and there on Saturday and Sunday. Having not found much treasure down south I was having a bad case of the withdrawals and needed to go hunting. Truth to be told I also wanted a spot of time with just me. I do need a bit of time alone or I become seriously grumpy. I can feel it coming on, rising up like a grumpy old aunt if I don't get a bit of space and then I start being a pain to be with. This ironically gets me time alone as no one wants to be with me if I'm grumpy.


Anyway I've digressed as usual. Saturday morning started sunny and gorgeous. Once we were all fed we went off to do our own thing for a while. The Bun's to play and generally flop about, Mr Bun to attack hedges and nettles with a Mad Max garden cutting thing and I fannied about pulling dead leaves off things for a while.


All clear in my head from my mornings wanderings, it was time to head to the Vintage Mischief market. Mr Bun wanted to come too, but the Bun's didn't so off I went with my purse full of pennies. I thought you might like to see my new red satchel that I took with me. Since May I've had severe back pains that sometimes make me look like I've poo'd myself when I walk in a crumpled up delicate way. I decided having a huge messenger bag slung across me probably wasn't helping my back much so I needed something smaller. I'm just not a handbag kind of person, when I saw this in Hennes I knew it was perfect for me.


I added my Happy Days Shopper to my satchel in the hope that I'd find things to fill it with and luckily I did. For a while now Mr Bun has been after a Little Snoopy pull-a-long dog so I was thrilled to find this fella to keep Alfie Blue company.


There was so much wonderful fabric to choose from that my head spun trying to work out which to pick. I only allowed myself a few pennies to spend, so I had to think about what I really wanted. Now, much later on, I wish I'd not been so strict with myself as there were so many other things I wish I'd brought home with me.


In the end I settled on daisy curtains and three vintage floral sheets. I did buy another piece of fabric, a beautiful grey and yellow barkcloth, but that was covering the table so the Bun's and I will go back to Vintage Mischief to collect that in the week. I think the lure of sticky buns in the cafe and a milkshake might tempt them along. Mind you they do generally like browsing for treasure the same as me so a bun will just make it even better.


I couldn't resist yet another basket, a plastic fruitbowl and a few other odds and sods either. While I was there I bumped into a few people I knew, missed friends who had already been there hunting much earlier than me and had a chat with some lovely ladies. The stall where I spent most of my money had so many more things that I loved and it turned out that Amanda, whose stall it was, reads my blog too so sort of knew me before I knew her.


On my way back to the car I had to go to the bike shop to see if they could mend my poorly bike. Now if I'd not headed off there I would have missed the other vintage market being held in the Quaker Hall opposite.


Not too much there, but I did find this sweet ginger cat bookend.  I bought it for Little Bun as it reminded me of her beloved Molly Cat. Tesco's beckoned next, but I won't delight you with the excitement of that trip.


Once home and food packed away I did a show and tell of all my treasures. Then I settled down for a quick look see through this months Mollie Makes and to decide what sort of making I fancied for the hour before the grown-up drinks came out.


In the end I thought I'd cut up some of my new fabrics to add to the quilt top I made. I'd decided it's not big enough so best sorted before I buy the batting for it really. 

There were so many other wonderful markets to visit further up the coast on Sunday, but I thought I'd better not spend any more pennies. With a Rayburn to mend, another car to buy as my dad's old car went to car heaven last week, a 12th birthday on the horizon and holiday spendies needed I was good and stayed home to throw more paint at our bedroom walls.