Thursday, 28 March 2013

Celebrations

Tommorow our sunshine girl Little Bun turns ELEVEN. To say she's gone to bed very excited is an understatement. How perfect is it that school broke up today and so no school on her birthday. Her birthday has come full circle as she was born at home on Maundy Thursday. 


Alongside birthday plans, there's been Easter to sort out and a farm party with a picnic for 10 kids.


We've enjoyed adding Easter cheer here and there.


The Bun's decorated a few twigs to turn into an Easter Tree and then went all out mental by covering the cupboard with every fluffy chick they could find. I've been editing it down today and they don't seem to have noticed - yet.


I've also added a few new things. Pretty pink straws and delicious stripey cups to add even more cheer to the birthday table.


Anything to bring the sunshine in at the moment wouldn't you say? Right now it's got to the silly cold bit. On Monday I lit the coal fire first thing and Alfie sat on the hearth singeing himself. He didn't argue when I dragged his bed in for him. He has one heck of a good life that boy.


See you over the weekend sometime I'm sure. I'm busy sorting out my etsy shop with tunics and plan to have them all ready before the weeks out. Before that we'll be busy partying hard 11 year old style.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Gliding gently into Saturday

Saturday morning bliss. Just a wee moment running from bed - down the stairs, across cold tiles, grabbing a hot coffee and one quick leap back into that cosy bed.


Knitting for a while before grabbing my kindle to watch old tv series I've saved on there (Kingdom today).


Then Mr Bun draws the short straw and he's the chosen one to take Miss Rosey to netball club. Alfie Blue and I decide bed's best for a bit longer as it's blowing a blizzard out there. Little Bun's tucked up in her bed watching One Foot in the Grave on grandad's portable dvd player. They love the oldies our girls.


Finally Little Bun's grumbling tum means I'd better get up and start the day. I light both the fires and feel instantly better about leaving my lovely bed.

After breakfast we Easter up the fridge as the first pressing thing to do. I promise to get something sticky and twiggy for Monday to make an Easter tree. Next week will be a nutty week of end of term stuff, Little Bun's birthday and her party squished in the middle of Easter. Thank goodness I've got the week off work as lots of baking and making to be done.


I've also some more fabric to play with next week. I added a few more bits to the pile yesterday. Always need to grab the spotty stuff when I see some.


I also found some trims that I couldn't resist. I love love love the yellow you know.


So easy to beat that nasty cold weather when you can huddle up inside and keep the world at arms length.

Keep warm and here's to sunshine, warmth and open windows arriving very very soon.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

This was the Day

Sometimes I wish and I wish that I had a posh camera that would do fabulous things for me. Then I could have all those amazing photos that I see in my head. Instead I know I'll have to bumble along with what I've got and settle for every now and again taking a photo that hits the mark for me. I just love a picture that's all sharp focus in the foreground and all fuzzy wuzzy in the background. In my hurry today I took one of those sort of pictures without even trying. Now isn't that an odd thing the hit and missness of it.
 

I picked up these wee plants up on the way home from work this afternoon. A couple of hours free between teaching and school pick up time. As I whizzed along, getting nearer to a spot of knitting and fireside cosying, I remembered the lack of henfood and corn for the ducks (who've returned again this year). They'd be mad as hell if I came back without grub so a quick detour and I'd ended up with a large broom, straw, layers pellets, corn and a few plants to make it a more exciting shop.


When I got back the postie had left me a squishy pink parcel. I'd seen a lovely floral fabric at Jane's place and here it was all wrapped up lovely with a few snippets of wallpaper.


I found a moment to squeeze in a spot knitting as I'd just been seduced by a new yarn. On Monday I went back to get enough Rowan Softknit cotton to make myself a candy pink cardi. I'm loving knitting with this. There are some fabulous strong shades to choose from, it's incredibly soft (clue in the name I guess) and looks quite ropelike which means no splitty nonsense. I'd say weight wise it's heavier than a handknit cotton and lighter than All Seasons Cotton if that helps. Whichever way I'll definately use this again if I actually finish this cardi. I love knitting and yarn, but lack the staying power needed.


Below my cardi is another new yarn, Rowan Summer Tweed. I felt drawn to this wrap in Inside Crochet and so I'm trying out a few yarns to get the right sort of drape. I've also had a wee go with some Louisa Harding Thistle that has been hanging around here for an age.


Not sure either are the One as yet, but it's a break from knitting row upon row so my eyes go all funny after a while.


When I picked up that yarn I spied some patterns for sale, shapes that would be perfect for all the girlies in the house. I like both, Little Bun likes the halter-neck and Miss Rosey is plumping for the dress.

So on the subject of stitching I have to say I was thrilled with your comments after I asked you about the Tunics. Thrilled that you like them, thrilled that some of you said you'd want one. I wore the aster print with a low belt slung round the other day. I love how easy it is to change the style of these so simply. 


I'll be adding these to my etsy shop very very soon. I will keep you posted I promise. 

After tommorow I've three whole weeks off (apart from Little Bun's 11th next week, her party and Easter that is) so stitching plans will get the go ahead. I also plan to catch up with all the wonderful blogposts I'm missing reading. It's all I can do to fit in a post of my own at the moment. To be honest my eyes are nodding off right now and my body wants to join in so with that I'll say ta ta, night night and see you soon. X

Sunday, 17 March 2013

It's a Cover Up Job

Those tunics I told you about in my last post. Well I finished them yesterday morning, just in time to pop one on before heading off to Little Bun's dance class. I made a couple at the same time as I'm getting very bored with my winter clothes. I thought some more floral attire would make me feel cheerier and more able to cope with this last bit of freezing greyness. All I have to do is look down and I feel brighter already.


I'd bought a metre of the new reddish aster print an age ago to make a tunic, but the blue fabric was added to the pile just out of pure love for the print. I find it hardest to decide what to use fabric for when it's old, therefore a one off and I love it. I worry that if I make it into something I won't like in a few months then that will be a real waste of something so lovely. Then I just stash it away and leave it there until the perfect thing for it to be dawns upon me. Some became a taking things out making bag and a bit more has become the most perfect tunic. I still have tons left for smaller projects so I'm very happy indeed.


I've quite a few of these tunics now all made from a pattern I copied from a friend. Most days I wear jeans. Skinny, straight, or a bit wider - in the summer I roll the bottoms up (but I do brave dresses far more then). Jeans are just so easy to throw on when you're in a hurry and you don't have a posh job (like me). Wearing jeans means there's more time to think about what's going on up top to make my outfit more interesting and make me feel happy. If I don't feel happy I always feel less confident for the day. To my mind I could look completely awful to everyone else, but as long as I feel good then I can get on with a smile.


I've always loved layering my clothes. I like playing about with colours and textures and then adding bright rings and brooches. In a nutshell having a cheery tunic is the perfect solution for me on a day when I'm in a real hurry as I can just chuck it on and feel good straight away. The best bit is it hides the less than best bits when my tummy is all bloated and sad.


Sometimes I wear my tunics loose and other times I put a belt around the middle to show I do actually have a waist.  I've made them all in different lengths depending on the look I fancy. The Bun's loved them too so they have a few in their collection (I sized the pattern down to fit). Miss Rosey wears hers as tunics and for Little Bun they're dress length. Which to be honest, this is a dress pattern. I'm so tall it's a tunic and on someone else it would actually be a dress.


Apologies for the fuzziness, bad light and different staff, but you get the general idea. When I was ironing the tunics Little Bun wandered in and asked me why I don't sell these as she thought other people would like them too.  I've been thinking for a while now about making different things to sell. It would be lovely to make all sorts of joyful tunics for other people to enjoy. I'm thinking of offering these for sale in my etsy shop with a selection of fabrics to choose from if all goes to plan. These are all just ideas at the moment so I'd really appreciate any ideas you might have on this one.


In fact all the ideas and support you give me here is always fabulous. I really have to thank you for that. 

Be back soon. Though goodness knows when as I'm doing an extra half-day again tommorow and then I volunteered to help take Little Bun's class to church for an Easter Service practice.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Swapsies & Flushes

It's been an absolute whirlimagig this week with after school girlies activities every single night. We screech into the weekend with two sets of netball training and a dance rehearsal to relax with. When did their lives overtake ours. It snuck up on us quietly before we had time to realise what was going on.

On Monday I found a spot of time to cut out some tunics to brighten up this nasty and horrid weather that's been attacking us. I'd hoped there might be a moment or two to finish them in the evenings, but instead I fell asleep on the sofa only to wake up cold and disorientated a while later.


I've rushed through the stitching of them today with only a wee bit to finish off so a full reveal as soon as they're all done. I decided to make a tunic to match my making bag so that will definately be a look for those days when I want to just blend in a bit.


Little Bun and I wrapped up some parcels early in the week as it was time to send off her Four Happy Things Swap to Alice (whose mum is Penny) and my swap to Bee. I won't show anything on here as Little Bun wants to mention it on her blog. She asked if she could join in when I first came up with the idea, so I asked Penny if Alice would be interested in swapping with her. They've really enjoyed coming up with their parcels and have put so much thought into them. Big excitement on Wednesday night when we saw that the postie had left Alice's parcel by the door for her.


Only that morning I'd collected Bee's parcel to me from the post office. When I got to work I was met with cries of you've got to open it up now before the students get in. What a wonderful start to my day. Bee had put in some wonderful things for me. The most beautiful cup and saucer, a handmade birdie brooch, fabric, cutters, buttons and sweeties. I like this swapsie thing very much indeed.

Penny sent me a gift made by her fair hands so I wouldn't be too jealous when Little Bun opened her parcel.  Mabel did a wee jig of delight in the fading sunlight.


A string of bunting worked up in the other Penny's fabulous cotton (which you can purchase from her if you prefer your cotton bright and not splitty at all). I'd asked Penny if it was shiny when I last saw her, because I don't like shiny yarn. Now I know it's not so I really like the look of this and the other Penny said it's great to work with too. So there you go.



Alongside all of this Little Bun has been planning a small fundraiser with her friends this week for Comic Relief. They decided to wear their onesies to school on Thursday. Before the day itself they raised around £60 in sponsor money. I'm immensely proud of her for getting on with it and doing something important like this, for being aware of the world we live in that needs people like her to help out. She looks out for other children at school making sure everyone is happy, she tries her best to sort arguments out calmly and checks little ones have a friend to play with if they're all alone. She takes her job of Peer Supporter very seriously, but it's always been her nature to empathise and know when someone needs a bit of kindness. She's my sunshine girl (although in this photo she's a bit sleepy as it's 7am).


Now a few quick announcements. 

I'm so glad you enjoyed my last post. I wasn't too sure if spoons would be everyone's cup of tea, but you shared some really interesting thoughts about your own family bits and bobs which I really enjoyed reading.

I have a few subtle tweaks I want to make to my blog (more a sticky note to myself to remind myself to do what I'm thinking of if I can remember what that thing was). Because as it turns out my fuzzy mind and the strange things that are happening to me are down to the thing I suspected they were. The Dr confirmed  that I'm in the peri-menopause part of my life. I'm way too early for it actually, but hey ho that's what you get for being impatient I guess.

See you soon.

Monday, 11 March 2013

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

Before I explain the reason for the spoons there are a few other things I want to say first.

It was good, really good to hear what you had to say about my malaise, thank you for your kind words of wisdom. I'll try to be good and give the Vit D a try as a bit of inbuilt sunshine would be a very good thing indeed. I agree that Spring needs to be sprung. Instead we've bounced backwards and so we've a heavily flooded garden covered with snow instead.

On Friday I squeezed a bit of energy out of my poorly sneezy self to do a simple sewing job. Not a planned thing at all. I was searching for a warm cardi and grabbed one that had hung there unworn for a couple of years or more. A long coat cardi in a shade of blue I love, a top half style that I really like, but sadly in a length that just doesn't cut the mustard with me anymore.


Quick as a flash I'd chopped the bottom to a length that meant I'd be wearing it again and added a cream trim around the edge to make sure it was a perfectly new to me cardigan. A very quick and pleasing thing to do. I used to chop so many things in the past to renew them. It feels good and is easy to do because if it goes wrong all I have to say is so what as I wasn't wearing the darned thing anyways.


Zooming forward to Saturday morning which found my Mr and I hanging out together in the pouring rain in our woodshed. I'd completely forgotten I'd ordered logs. That was a thrilling surprise when we were hanging out all cosy in our beddy byes. Warm to wet and muddy in the blink of an eye.


Then very very late at night, last minute as usual I decided to make a floral garland for my mum. That explains the grainy pictures at least. No photo of the finished string I'm afraid. Mum loved it and her other gifts so worth the late night. Only a few hours sleep allowed and then we were up at 7am and off to get Miss Rosey to her netball trials before lunch at my mums. All worthwhile though as she qualified for the squad so that means netball all next weekend too. Thankfully I now have a very handy new taking making stuff with me bag.


At last we get to the spoons. My dad's family spoons actually. Dad was a hoarder, but he didn't talk as much as he could have done about the stories surrounding all the stuff he kept. He wasn't a man to talk more than needed, but would tell me what I wanted to know when I asked. So many of his families things were lost when my aunt failed to pay the storage costs on a lot of it. Dad also rolled up paintings and just burnt them. They were probably quite good paintings, but then we'll never know will we. There are snippets of stories of so many different people. I try to link them all together and say one day I'll research more and attempt to fill in the gaps. These are all my stories as they come from my dad who was real to me. I'm not linked to any of the people in these stories by blood, but I feel linked to them by my love of stories and the past. I'm linked to them by my love for my dad and my need to belong to something.


Mum came across a bag of spoons and forks the other day. She mentioned dad's christening spoon and asked if I'd like it. Well all of us four are an inquisitive bunch so Miss Rosey rushed off to get the bag. I've never understood people who collect spoons as a hobby, but these were something else. These spoons and forks told unfinished tales of people I know or have heard of. There's my dad's spoon engraved with his dates and then his father's next to that so I assume the one dated 1854 must be my dad's grandfather. Before that are some smaller ones with only the initals on the back of the handle that we think are Georgian.


One of the reasons Dad didn't talk much about the past was he that he felt uncomfortable coming from a wealthy background. He was so down to earth you might never have guessed except for the fact that he was a true gentleman through and through. The only clues left to this past are boxes of things that have survived and a few photographs.


After the pleasure of looking at the designs on the cutlery and each choosing our favourites I went off in search of the old Gladstone bag and suitcase hidden under the bed. I've looked through the pictures and cards so many times, but each time something new is revealed to me.


The Gladstone has all that remains of dad's family life and the cardboard suitcase contains all that my mum's mum stored away of hers. There are pictures of women in long elegant gowns and men in shooting suits picnicking; there are several black and white shots of prize Gloucester Old Spots (so maybe the money came from farming); amongst all this are scenes from the Great War of soldiers sitting in deck chairs on the beach, then the grandad I never knew grinning by the Sphinx and finally post-war family shots of fun at the beach. My thoughts always move to the faces of the men laughing with their families and wonder at how they feel in this world that is so different from all they experienced just a few photos back.


I couldn't find the picture I was really looking for. The man above was my grandad's cousin. Little Bun thought it was her grandad as the family similarity is so strong. He was an officer in the Great War and the lost photo shows him in full uniform. Dad told me he came home, said his final farewells and then went back to the front for the last time. 

I'd like to bind together all of the stories so they're not lost forever. There are so many to tell of my man's family, my mum's aswell as dad's so the girls can remember it all for themselves.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Minnie the Moocher

Coughs, sneezes and very achey bones have taken over my body this week. Little Bun has been hit too, just in time for my day off, which is good timing for her to have a sofa day with mumma. My Mr has taken Miss Rosey to school in the car so we're well and truly at home today with no means of escape. I'm not moaning in any way shape or form as I've wanted a proper home day where I can rest, stitch and do as I please for a long old while now. 

I have managed to get a wee bit of stitchery done lately, but to be honest I've been lacking motivation and inspiration. I'm not sure if being motivated leads to inspiration or if failing to be inspired saps any motivation I might otherwise have had. All week I've planned today as being the day I get it back as I miss my making mojo. I've quite a few things I can be getting on with. I just need to focus on which one and not get easily distracted, apart from cuddles with my sweet girl.


The sunny weather we had over the weekend did give me a wee push to look out my sunshine fabrics and run up a taking projects out and about bag. I've held on to the blue, orange and yellow floral fabric for a while now. Do you have fabric you love so much that you put off cutting into it in case you regret it? This is one of them for me, but in the end I settled on a bag so I'd have it all the time. There's still a fair bit left which could make a tunic for me or if I'm feeling superbly generous - a dress for Miss Rosey - who also likes it.


With my cheery bag in hand I just need to sort myself out now. I'm not sad or low, just not myself you see. I'm in an ok in the middle kind of mood and I want to be a more woohoo lets get on with life kind of me again.

I usually try to avoid talking in too much depth about my feelings, family happenings and life in general for several reasons (which I'm sure is the same for all of us) -
  • My blog is a place I choose to write about all the good stuff and the creative parts of my life.
  • I don't like having a public moan for obvious reasons. Ironically this can lead to some people thinking the person who only talks about the good has a star spangled life in blogland.
  • I also think anyone who visits my blog doesn't come to hear a moaning minnie.
So don't be afeared, I'm not going to moan, but I do feel I need to explain myself a bit so my mood makes sense. I thought I would just say how I feel at the moment.  It's all something and nothing really. I've struggled to write an upbeat post all week, although I've wanted to blog. I've not commented on other blogs for a while and have barely read any lately as I just can't find the time or inclination to do anything much. I race from thing to thing not accomplishing half the stuff I want and need to do. All life feels like at the moment is school run, work, buy food, clean the house, feed people and animals then fall asleep on the sofa. I want to find my va voom for thinking up new ideas, hatching plans, seeing friends, wasting time just because I'm having fun and not just dealing with all the have to do stuff.

I'm hoping that hormones are the reason for my oddness as I can't quite put my finger on it. I really do want to find a solution soon as I'm sure life wasn't always so busy that there was little time left for any of the feel good things. I decided on a Dr trip next week for blood tests and whatnot. I think I last went to the Dr for me when I was pregnant with Little Bun.


Right I've got to the stage where I'm fed up writing this, you've probably got fed up before me reading it so let's move on. I just thought a bit of honesty might not be a bad thing for a change and some of you might say don't worry I feel just the same, then I would think that's ok then. Reading this back, it sounds like self-indulgent nonsense now anyway. 


Before I pop off here's the proof that my mum's a much quicker knitter than me. Mr Bun was given his Seagulls scarf last Saturday, much to his delight. Even better Alfie Blue was given one to match his best ever mate in the whole wide worlds scarf. Two happy fella's indeed.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Searching

Back on with the usual old routines this week plus a few extras thrown in. All I wanted to do was make things and get lost in fabric, yarn and colour, but it wasn't to be. I'm at Little Vintage Lover Fair in Dragon Hall in oohhhh three weeks time and I've not even started on the making for that yet. Best get my bum into action had I not. 

Do you ever get that thing where colours beckon you? For a couple of weeks I've been thinking about a colour mix I don't usually go for. All blues, brown, coffee, pink and hopefully a spot of mustard thrown in. I want to crochet something with these colours, but I'm not sure what yet. While I work it out I've been searching for the colours. Annoyingly I can't find the exact shades in thick enough yarn (I fancy something soft and spongy if you know what I mean) so I've gone for finer DK.


While I ponder what I'm going to do with these balls I'm trying to get past this blip where I don't know what to start on next. There are tons of unfinished's around, but they're not inspiring me (that's why they're unfinished things). I was being constantly asked by my Mr when his seagulls scarf would be finished. Realistically - never - I thought. After three colour changes I'd got really bored with it. Making it for the love of him didn't inspire me either so I handed it over to my mum who knits quickly. In a week it's done and dusted. I imagine he's wearing it right now as he's over there having breakfast while Miss Rosey plays netball. I'll be doing the dance class shift with Little Bun later on.


When all else fails I grab a few bits and bobs scatter them about and have a think. In a spare hour on my day off I gave this a go and do you know it worked.


I tidied up a few scraps from the bag hiding under the kitchen table. Played around with them and then decided a new garland was needed. I think I'll try and get my oompph under way by stitching this up this morning.

Before I go, here are a few token recent finds pictures and shots of pretty flowers.


The ranucula's and anenomes were added to cheer me up after yet another dentisty session yesterday.


Have a great weekend. I'm off to look for inspiration.