Thursday, 29 August 2013

What a Tizz Whizz

I've gone from feeling fairly chilled and calm when I left work tonight to full on spinny and realising time is running out far more quickly than I need it to in the space of a few minutes. A brief phone call this evening and I find out I've got the school dates wrong and they go back earlier than I thought. I've been doing some major re-organinsing of promises made and wondering how on earth we can get everything done in time. To make matters worse I did what I always do in a panic and agreed to doing far more in one day than is sane.

So tommorow we're squishing in social trips with last minute birthday and school stuff shopping as well as dashing off to the beach later on.

Saturday is taken up with birthday parties, cake baking and the build up of excitement that is Miss Rosey's 13th birthday on Sunday. Finally we'll officially have a teenager in the house.


My head is flitting about wondering where on earth I put the name labels to trying to work out how I can keep my promise to Little Bun that I'd have the whole day off with them before they started school. I took Wednesday off thinking school started on Thursday, now I need to move it all forward a day. Teaching cover has been sorted by my lovely boss and now I've got to re-jig and ask nicely tommorow if we can change all of that and hope it doesn't stress my students too much.


I never like the end of the holidays anyways so I usually go into a melancholic or nutty mood wishing we could have all those carefree days back again.
A few deep breaths are needed and then I think I'll go and dunk myself in the bath for a bit of calm.


 I guess you could say I look like a perturbed Pug and feel stretched too thinly like Dorrie Daschie. It'll all be fine and dandy though, it always is. Jobs will be done and then we'll be sat on the beach licking ices and I'll wonder why I got myself in such a tizzy.


When the dust has settled I'll be having a proper read of a lovely new book that I was offered a pre-release copy of and then let you know all about it. If you fancy getting your own before I do, then The Antiques Magpie comes out on the 5th September.

Along with finding this book in the postbox tonight, I also had a parcel with two of the loveliest blue rings from Acorn and Will. Sadly I lost my favourite blue ring from here when we dashed up the hill from the sea late one night. I ordered a replacement one from Daniella and she ever so kindly popped in the larger Dahlia as a gift. I know her from way back when she used to have a pitch at the makers markets I organised. She's a real sweetheart and now runs her fabulous business selling kitsch trinketry, cushions and other bits and bobs full-time. If you haven't checked out her lovely online store then I really think you should and if you fancy meeting her then you can usually find her at the Country Living Fairs.

Now the thought of all that lovliness has calmed me down no end.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Village at War

We rose this morning to the bluest of skies and hot hot hot August bank holiday weather. Swimming in the sea and lolling on the beach would have been perfect today, but as we had a date with an event we look forward to each year it was on with the pretty dresses and off with the shorts.


Village at War is a two day event, we always head here for the Monday so we don't miss the fly past of a bomber and fighter plane.

As always there was lots to see and get involved with. There were some pretty gruesome instruments in the medical field tent.

We quickly recovered by lazing on the grass with cake and drinks to sing along to Run Rabbit Run and Pennyslyvanian 65000 to name but a few.


As the event is held on the site of an old workhouse, there is plenty of space for different groups to set up camp. In the row of shops the Bun's went to collect their weekly sweet ration while I admired the posters in the seed merchants.


Not long before Miss Rosey came back to collect me so we could all stroll down to the farm.


Just by the field where the Guides had set up camp was a teawagon.


We stared longinly inside and dreamed of the adventures we could have if it was ours.


Our daydreams were broken as we spied in front of us a beautiful Suffolk Punch being led to collect the potato harvest


After checking out the new born Piglets and chatting to the hens we went for a wander around the fields and down to the river.

 We kept passing the same elderly couple dressed up to the nines pushing a pram along all the bumpy paths. Strange things you do as a museum volunteer or perhaps they were spies?

All too soon it was time to rush back to the courtyard to listen for the gentle thrum of planes engines. 

Over the roofline a Hurricane, Lancaster and Spitfire flew into view in perfect formation.


As always the Mr and I were emotional about seeing them and all they represent. Although we're in our 40's we had older parents and relatives (apart from my much younger mum) who lived through the war years. My man's dad was in the Irish Guards and fought in Norway as part of his service. My dad was a little bit younger and only turned 18 in the final year of the war so his dream to become a fighter pilot never came about. He had a relatively good war until then as his dad was the Farmers Union Secretary so he and his sister would cycle out to different farms whenever there was a bombing raid and have quite a feast. When his turn to be conscripted came he was placed in the Army destination Burma. Then Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed and the war in the East abruptly ended. My dad's war ended before it had begun and so he ended up doing two years National Service in India instead where he had marvellous adventures.


All three planes swooped round and flew over a couple more times before heading back to Duxford. We then  decided it was time for us to head home too and enjoy a few home comforts.

When we got back I summoned up the energy to throw a Victoria Sponge together (from a neighbours hens eggs I have to add as our blinking hens are laying theirs god knows where).


We climbed the hen barricade to go and munch cake at the top of the garden.


The ladies moved pretty quickly as just as I was halfway through my slice they were upon me trying to whip it off the plate.


 Alfie tried the more subtle approach of staring at me with his cute come to me cake eyes.


Once we'd all munched our cake we used up the last of the days sun to play garden badminton.
What a perfectly perfect bank holiday Monday. 

Before I head off I must just say thank you for your well wishes about the sleeping situation. Still not solved bed hopping is still going on and we're just having to hope normal service will soon be resumed.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

More Sleep Please We're British

I'm in a strange mood today, neither one thing nor another. I'm putting it down to being completely shattered and hope that will be that with this strange mood.

For the last two weeks Little Bun has been waking in the wee hours. She stands by my sleeping side feeling guilty if she wakes me, but knowing she can't face walking back into her dark room either. I'm glad she does wake me, but it means restless sleep for me and her daddy. At eleven and a half it could be those old hormones and it could be nervousness about starting high school very soon.


I started each of my three teaching days this week like a bleary eyed zombie kept alive by strong mocha chocca coffee.

On Thursday night she slept straight through and I woke feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed.

My darling girl came in for a morning cuddle so thrilled that she'd slept all night. Her daddy said TOO SOON "well we've got through that stage then". I said nothing.

In celebration of our energetic selves we headed off to the beach to start our longer weekend.


I was so busy enjoying myself that I didn't take any photos other than our feet. 

We beached, strolled the town, had afternoon tea on the terrace of a very lovely hotel and even fitted in a  BBQ when we got home. All in all a tip top super day. 

Last night sleep was disturbed again and I woke feeling punch drunk. Instead of facing reality and giving into the tiredness I've tried to do things.

Everything I've started today has been left drifting on it's own after a short time. Now I just feel frustrated with myself for wasting the day. I'm one of those people who hates to feel I'm wasting time, when I know in reality even resting isn't wasting time really. Why on earth didn't I just give up and snuggle on the sofa, watch films, sleep and knit.


Today my man has been flitting between football score watching and doodling. 


I did a bit of mindless rearranging of stuff as you only do when your head is in your boots.


Then I chopped up a few squares from fabric I've been collecting for a while as a brief quilting urge came over me.

I even managed to stitch up two blocks before I abandoned them for another day. 

Then I flitted to the skirt I'm making for Miss Rosey. It's a really simple quick pattern, but the minute I needed to find the interfacing I just couldn't be bothered. So that's been put to one side.


In the end I thought I'd come on here write down how I'm feeling to get my frustration of a nothinggy day out and then go and get cosy on that sofa. I've even solved the fact that neither of us can be bothered to go buy food and then cook it. Just up the road an Indian restaurant has finally opened that delivers which in the countryside is pretty modern stuff. Oh complete joy for the exhausted amongst us.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Promises Kept

I finally kept a promise I made a long old while ago. I made a pouffe for Miss Rosey and then ran out of steam when it came to stitching another one up for Little Bun. Two girls, very close in age, equals mostly making two of everything or there can be a bit of a hoo ha. On Sunday luckily for Little Bun I got the pouffe urge again. As a bedroom re-do is in order I chose patterns that I thought would fit with her character , getting a wee bit more grown-up and the colours we're going for. Although heavens knows when we're finding the time to do this major re-paint as she has a huge room filled with so many Sylvanian things, there's a damp problem to deal with plus a falling to bits wardrobe to sort out. Phew.


As she's always been a circus fan, I bought this fabric for her when we moved in thinking it might become curtains. Like most of my plans it just faded away and the fabric sat there. On the same shelf were some remnants of fabric from Designers Guild. fabric which I thought looked suitably stripy circus tent like.

All stitching done and points matched as well as could be, the hardest bit was getting all the beans in the lining. My mum arrived just in time to be given the task with the girls and after tons of giggles and covering the floor they managed to fill it all up. Job done and Little Bun's thrilled with it. Much quicker than painting a room, but that is next on the list of promises.

Before I got going on the pouffe I managed to finish off a wee project I'd started so I'd have something knitty to take to work with me. I'd seen a pattern for The Age of Brass & Steam Kerchief on Handknitted Things which  Julia had found on Ravellry and kindly added the link to the free pattern there (you'll have to scroll down her posts to find it if you're interested as I just can't work out how you find links to posts - sorry).


As our printer has been broken for an age I copied the pattern into my book by hand. Normal people would mend their printer, we just seem to exist with piles of broken stuff and muddle along, but hey ho, we're happy in this mess, only now and again it gets annoying. Pattern sorted and Rowan Creative Linen bought on next outing.


It was fairly straightforward to knit up my first mini shawly shaped scarf. I did end up with the increase rows being a bit wobbly, but that won't be obvious once it's all wrapped round my neck will it.


Quite a big change for me to use plain old white, but I thought it would make a good contrast against the brightness of my winter coats and brooches. I must admit I like wearing a lot of white on top as it goes well with my dark hair, black I avoid like the plague as I look like I'm off to a funeral, it's just so depressing to me. Anyways I'm pleased to have finished making it, but not sure as yet if I'll actually be wearing it, we'll see when the weather turns.
 

Back now to my first love and that's tons of colour fun. Just to let you know I've filled a few shelves in my etsy shop with some FQ's of sheet fabric and also hung up three Happy Shopper Bags too. If you do fancy popping on over then you can follow thisquick link to the shop here.


That's all for now folks, apart from saying hello to new followers and thank you once again for stopping by with all your lovely comments.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Funghi & Checks

First week back to work after six weeks off was a bit of a shock to the system. I struggle with routines, and well I struggle with lots of things that mean fitting into rules and regulations to be honest. I've been trying really hard to get my body clock back to work and school hours. At my natural rythmn I'm wide awake late at night and like a zombie at 8 am, so even earlier is pure hell. The world ticks to another time, so I have to sort myself out every now and then to fit in again. I also missed my girlies and the freedom to do as we pleased every day, but thankfully I have a job and also long weekends with all of them. They had a great time at Grandma's and we had a bit of time to be just us. Now whenever I think give me space if they're driving me nuts I'll try to remind myself how much I hated the peace in our house. I thought come Tuesday night, this is what it'll be like when they leave and I didn't like that reality at all.

Now on to matters of a making nature. Alongside missing my girlies, I kept planning more and more stuff I wanted to make when I had the time to.  I also popped in various places and bought a few supplies for Friday stitchery. Rain was planned for today and as I was minding a friend's children while she was at work I thought a home day would do us all good. The girls made video's and then sewed their own felt brooches so all busy bees you see.


As you can see my mind's turned to checks. A real change of direction for me from my usual florals, but since getting my Japanese dress book I've been picturing the designs in checks and more simple patterns.

I also popped into a certain lady's shop and grabbed a couple of bits that I'd fallen for. I've been a toadstool fan since reading my first Mabel Lucie Atwell annual aged six and feel drawn to most designs. Little Bun had talked me out of buying a toadstool bag before as she said it was too expensive (when you have an 11 year old moral conscience shopping with you it can be disconcerting). Buying teatowels at more than half the price, I reasoned, was a blinking good plan. I also just had to have the brooch too, especially as it was the last one.


I didn't buy these teatowels for the job intended neither you know. I had a plan to turn them into my own bag, a Happy Shopper bag to be exact. Once breakfast was done and dusted I got going, along with a sleepy Lily kitten who flopped in an exhausted heap for company.


A wee while later the bag I'd pictured in my head was born. I've only added a white trim at the moment, but I feel it still needs something else, maybe red buttons or a flowery brooch, we'll see once I've stared at it for a bit.


This one is most definately a keeper (in case you've got your eye on it my naughty gnome lover pal) and will be used daily methinks as I love it.


I really don't think you can have enough bags, or shoes, or brooches, or rings, so if you can make your own it does make it all a bit better on the purse strings.


Somehow it was quite an industrious morning, just lovely being at home with everyone. Alongside making the Toadstool Happy Bag, I ran up a new top, which to be fair I did cut out the shapes for late last night. I also stitched it the wrong way late last night. This proves my brains too tired for concentrating on stitchery at midnight so I'll not be doing it again as it was tedious unpicking it all this morning.


I went for another Scoop Neck Overblouse in the blue checked seersucker as I loved the shape so much. This time I changed a few things. I left off the neck frills, made the sleeves less full and used a contrasting bias binding tape (I always need a bit of floral somewhere).


With the first top I made for myself I didn't gather the neck up as much either so it scooped across my shoulders. This time I pulled the gathers tight so the neck was as intended. It does drape far better being gathered up properly to be honest.

 

Now after such a productive stitchy morning we do have some buns I made to munch on, but no other real food. I've made the superb decision of going to get fish and chips and cheesy pies for the non-fishy eaters here so we can put off food shopping for one more day at least.

* quick note to the lady who said hello in JL. I realised on the way home you meant lovely hairdresser Jane, sorry for my vagueness.

Ta ra for now, off in search of unhealthy food.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Sweet Sewing Adventures

Saturday was a lady pampering day. Well to be truthful all I did was have a haircut, spent some time in my own head (peace is required at least once if not more in the summer) and had a wee whizz around the shops (Miss Rosey's 13th birthday is looming). Now as this was my time, I also had a bit of bookshop browsing and declined my original plan of getting fitted for some much needed new bra's. To whip off my top and bare all to an efficient lady with a tape measure is something I really need to be in the mood for.

Right, leaving bossum's behind and quickly moving back to the bookshop I think. I only went there for a browse, just to see what was what you understand. On the shelves I found complete temptation. It was a book I've lusted after for a while now, but not bought as I know I'm not ready to try my hand at dressmaking in Japanese.


On the front of this copy was a big sticker saying IN ENGLISH. After flicking through I was hooked and so I bought the book quick sharp.


There's so many beautiful patterns in here to make up, all based around six patterns. Basically once you get your head around a shape then it's much quicker to knock out some other bits and bobs. There were quite a few things that I knew the Bun's would want me to make for them as well so I reckoned £14.95 for 23 stunning patterns was blinking brilliant value.


The minute I got home I just had to jump straight in. The sewing urge was upon me. I did have lots of cuddles with everyone first of course and referee'd a girly squabble sucessfully. My lot went off happy to play and stuff and so I got out my new book to make my choices. I settled on starting off with the top up top. I reasoned it looked fairly quick to do, no hideous darts to fiddle with and I knew I had just the right fabric stashed away.

As I'd used up all my dressmaking tracing paper, I stickytaped baking paper sheets together to make my patterns. That was the hardest part to be honest and only because the pattern sheet was so busy it was like reading a map. To be truthful the patterns and instructions are simplified so beautifully that this sewing adventure was absolute bliss. No temper tantrums occured at all. So addicted was I that I managed to finish my top just as Mr Bun was plonking food onto plates and pouring out the fizzy stuff.


I can't believe how well this has turned out, normally something goes horribly wrong when I make clothes and I have to re-think the whole project. It looks like a posh difficult to make type of top and yet it was really really straightforward.


I love the wee ruffle around the neckline, but I'm not too sure about the fluffty sleeves. They do look perfect with the design I know, but I'm not too sure I'm sold on them for me. If I make another one for me, then I might just go for straight drop sleeves.


There it is in all it's finery and then there's me showing you how it looks on a human being.


When I did a twirl in it for my lot, Little Bun asked straight away if she could have one too. Being as it was so straightforward, she asked so nicely and the sewing urge was upon me I got going as soon as I could. She chose the fabric herself from a pile I gave her to have a think about. Now her top is all stitched up too and waiting for her to wake up to.


Now I'm wondering what to have a go at next. I feel drawn to the coat, but I'll need to have a good think about the right fabric for that, something soft and beautifully aged I think.

See you soon.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Happy Clappy

There are so many ways to measure happiness. For the most part it's just feeling good and content with life. Not feeling disatisfied, grumpy or down. It's finding pleasure in life from the small things to the big. Sometimes it's because you can bury your head in the sand, ignore the yuckky stuff and just get on with the good stuff. 

I have to say I've had a very happy week. Mostly I've been ignoring stuff so we can have all the happy times together because my girls are growing up fast. I don't want to miss the moments as they unfold and then look back wishing I'd done it differently. So the house is a mess, there's only just enough food in the cupboard, I haven't planned any of my teaching for the next term and I've ignored the pile of paperwork that keeps winking at me. I've not had any time for making either as I've put my time with them first. This is a hard one to go without, I really do need a fix very soon or I'll be a grumpy person before too long. So it is with happiness in mind that I thought I'd share some of the things that have made me happy this past week.


FIrst HaPpY - Having a Paperchase fix after the cinema. We all chose a favourite thing, these cards were mine. I was reminded of my man who hasn't shaved all week and convinced me he was going to grow the biggest bushiest beard - EVER.


SecOnD HaPpY - Cycling along the lanes near our home to find a field to picnic in and trying to find three naughty sheep who'd escaped that morning.


THirD HapPY - Dressing up all smart for the end of the pier show for hours of laughter, magic, dance and singing.


FOurTh HaPPy - Going on a fabulous bike ride with Nanny around the Binky Hall estate, feasting on a delicious picnic in the orchard before exploring the house and gardens.


FifTh HAppY - Coming home with yet more books from the secondhand bookshop. 


SIxTh HaPPy - Finding Crochet In Colour had arrived when we got home. Far too many fabulous treats inside to spoil the excitement for all you other hookers out there. Just one picture of temptation to show you. I'll definately be making tons of things from this as it's my new most favourite crochet book already.


SevEnTh HaPpy - Cherries, what more can you say. I need to get this bag hooked up straight away.


EiGhtH HapPy - Lazy lunch at the seaside shack before hitting the sands.


NinTH HapPy - Feeling glad I didn't sell this vase after all as it's perfect for these Gladioli's from the honesty stall.


TenTh HaPpy - Happy Shopper bags. Mine makes me happy all the time. At the moment it's stuffed with beachtowels and suncream instead of knitting.

I hope you all had a happy week and here's to wishing us all an even happier weekend.