Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Skitchbook finish!

Wa-hey! I have actually finished something! I can't quite believe it....

 Instead of the beautifully be-ribboned original I used these lovely fabric-covered buttons sliced from a charity shop top bought for 10p!! The same fabric patch is on the front cover. The white material is from an amazingly soft bedsheet I had in my stash which I think came from a Freecycle bundle: it's a super-fine quality cotton that had obviously seen many years use as it had been patched in the centre where it had worn out completely. It adds something quite special to the book as it is easily as soft as the fleece it covers. I'm glad it's been given a new lease of life in a context where it will still be in contact with skin and its' special snuggliness appreciated for many more years. There is something so magical about long-lasting hard-wearing fabric that manages to flourish with repeated use, unlike so many cheap modern alternatives.

Now on to the next project! I realised today (just in time, I hope!) that we're already nearly in October so I've got to get a wriggle on to get the C-word preparations underway... My plan is to get the damn knitted blanket finished for MIL then start some wristwarmers for the Aunties. Got to do something with the million-and-ten patterns I've Pinned!

Mil's birthday is also in December so I've been researching environmentally-friendly party bag gifts. I'll make some little bags and get the girls to decorate them: that way the kids can take something home that's a little bit special and can be re-used. Jess has been to two parties since school started and both times come home with a little plastic bag of throwaway junk which I don't agree with, so if I do something simple and different it might open someone's eyes. Fewer people choose to use plastic bags in shops these days so why doesn't it filter through to every aspect of consumerism?

(sorry about the poorly-lit phone pics: this is the light I often work in so I sometimes get some odd results with thread colours!) Edit: the photos were so bad I took them off and replaced them!! Left this one though :-)

After school activity

Jess tends to be pretty irritable and tired after school and Mil has been a bit under the weather recently so we've been trying to make sure they always have something to keep them busy whilst dinner is cooking. Here are some action photos (ie blurry!):

Two days before:

and then... add paint!

Salt dough recipe:

2 cups plain flour + more if too gooey (I found I needed another cup)
1 cup salt
1 cup warm water

Bake until hard then leave to cool.


Friday, 21 September 2012

Green day goodness

Last year I grew lots of different flowers including dahlias, cosmos, rudbeckia and asters. This year, in contrast, I only grew slugfood apparently, as nothing has survived their gnashing this year. I'm almost convinced you can actually hear them munching away of an evening! So I was pleasantly surprised to find this self-sown beauty flourishing all by itself as a reminder of last years lovelinesses!

More buds waiting their turn to burst open!

This pretty purple flower has sprung up this year and I haven't found out what it is yet, but it's wonderful: the flower head is about 3 feet high on an almost bare stem which bobs gracefully in the wind.

After the slug rampage even Cabbage Whites seem positively charming to me!

Bronze Fennel in its' second year standing proudly above everything else.

And finally a baby Lavender, sown this year and already flowering! I'm tempted to devote a whole bed to it next year as it seems to thrive here once it's made it through it's first winter. This is the first strain that I've grown successfully apart from the ordinary stuff; I think it's called Munstead.

Linking with Fiona's Green Day xx

A flippety-floppy wonky donkey


Well it's been a gentle week during which I've been working on my very own Skitchbook! Seeing as the universal engine didn't heed my plea for Hoola Tallulah's lovely giveaway, I got off my lardy rump n made my own. It differs from hers in that she used proper felt whereas I've used ScrapStore recycled fleece oddments stitched roughly together in wobbly imitation, but I'm quietly pleased with the result nonetheless and as usual obsessively snatching precious minutes in which to work on my new baby! 

It is incredibly satisfying to put something like this together from scratch with whatever's to hand just to get it done. It still needs more work; some more detailing to the back cover and some fastenings. As my good friend Little Dotty Bird won the giveaway I'll be able to see the difference between the two in the flesh when it arrives and I'll try to maintain a veneer of happiness for her good fortune - no doubt she'll still frisk me anyway in case I try to make off out the door with it.

Thank you Hoola Tallulah for being so inspiring! xx

Friday, 14 September 2012

A little green visitor

A slightly bemused-looking little visitor amongst Milly's teacups one morning this week!

I'm pretty sure he was just wiping his face dry, but doesn't he look like he's saying "How did that happen? Where am I??"

Enjoy your weekends everyone & Happy Green Day! xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Freecycle gold for all!

Went to pick up a load of crockery from a lovely chap through Freecycle today and am now the proud owner of yet more pretty china teacups! I could host my very own WI meeting now :-) Jude is quietly weeping in bewilderment at the range of (as he sees it) utterly pointless crap I manage to infest our cupboards with.

All but one of the slightly mis-matching saucers are blank underneath except for one which has my old mate Meakin stamped on it. I reckon someone must have loved this pattern so much they collected it however it came! There were two other sets with very kitsch patterns but I didn't dare even wash them up: they've gone directly to a friend who will hopefully turn them into mosaic artworks. Milly has absorbed the rest into an ongoing tea/soup-pouring workshop outside!

Each cup has a careful sprinkling of sand in the bottom!
Oh and the whole lot came in an old tin bath exactly like I used to play in as a child! Of course I'll be forcing mine to do the same in order to vicariously re-live my own childhoood...

The skies have cleared after a day of rain and intermittent sunshine, and somehow everything feels a bit lighter today :-)


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Where did summer go??

School run views

Artist at work

Tula's growing fast!

More chair rescue using salvaged fabric

Sisters posing

Milly and her babies

Cheeky monkey

Always smiling!

Footprint painting!

The result! Just need to find a frame for it now....

Important to make a decent cup of tea every now and then if you only drink it once a day!

Homemade bread + homemade jam on favourite birds of paradise china!

Weaning - oh the mess!!!!!!


Those colours again and again
Up to 22 squares now - all very wonky, sewn at speed! Question is now when to stop??

Here we are nearly halfway through September and already there is a chill in the air once the sun has dipped below the treeline that makes me want to get a fire going to curl up beside. I'm still breastfeeding Tula to sleep in the evening and although she sleeps very deeply at night, she has recently started wanting to feed up to five times during the night too, which means I'm shattered during the day.

Hence the infrequency of my posts lately! Jess is having a great time at school, but has instantly turned into a sulky teen, which is very hard to deal with at the end of a school day, along with two tired siblings. Luckily my parents have very kindly offered to pay for Milly to have an extra day at nursery which is fantastic, as she absolutely loves it there, and she is much loved by the staff in return! So it means I will have two whole days where I don't have to be thinking up new entertainment and ways to keep Mil occupied when I'm trying to put Tula to sleep during the day...

I honestly don't know how homeschooling families cope when there is a new baby at home - Tula is by no means very demanding, but I can't juggle all three at with their various needs and keep them all stimulated let alone educated. I did seriously consider it at one point, but Jess seemed so keen on the idea of school from books like Harry and his dinosaurs and Angelina Ballerina for example that we just went for it, and it is a really nice little school by the sea so we're very lucky.

Anyway, quite selfishly I am looking forward to having a little time to myself to gather my thoughts: not having grandparents or other family nearby means I literally never have a break and I think that it is quite important to have some space for yourself every now and then, or you can start to crack up. Jude does what he can to help when he gets in from work, but he's tired too. It feels as though friends are moving on, moving away so I need to look outwards more, find the strength to move on too. And of course, there are all those projects to work on! At the last count, I think I have five sewing projects on the go, three of which are quilts.... lots to keep me busy!

Enjoy this beautiful season xx


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