Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 7 July 2009
It's another of the Buttercup bags, like I made for Anja from some jeans a while back, but in red cord, like Child B's red cord trousers I made in the winter (now, sadly, lost), and lined with some lovely Indian printed cotton that lovely Rosie bought me.
I blogged about Child B's trousers when I made them. For months he had demanded red trousers. Whenever I got him dressed, he wanted red trousers and cried when I couldn't provide them. Shops only make red trousers for girls, and though that usually wouldn't bother me, I just couldn't find a pair that would do. So I made them for him. When he next demanded red trousers, I produced them with a flourish, but he just cried all the harder. Not those red trousers. But it's his birthday today (3, my goodness), so I'm feeling indulgent. Happy birthday piglet.
I love you and my new red handbag.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
We went to Dunster. It's on Exmoor. It has a castle.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
I do like a wardrobe refashion and I particularly like it combined with a clothes swap.
This little dress was a tshirt. You know what a tshirt looks like, so I didn't take a picture first. It had capped sleeves and was fine, but nothing special.
I had been holding forth about how easy it was to make little girls dresses out of tshirts, and then someone rather called my bluff, by saying go on then.
So I did. And I must say, I'm rather proud of it.
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Saturday, 6 June 2009
They're sitting in the fence that separates us from our lovely neighbour. Her garden is much better than ours, so it's nice to be looking that way.
The look we aspire to with our garden is something along the lines of repossession chic. Our gardens go back to back with our neighbours, so it would be quite a feat to get a car on bricks through. However, if we did manage, it would feel right at home.
We used to have a pond. Considering our garden is not large, the largeness of the pond was a particular insult. That it housed newts was a redeeming feature, but it did threaten to drown most children / cats that passed its way. A couple of years ago, Mr Kinkatink decided to fill it in. But first he had to dig another pond. For the next two years, we had 2 ponds, taking up about 50% of the garden.
At the bank holiday I freaked out at the allotment after bastard slugs ate EVERYTHING (well, not the bind weed) so I decided to abandon the allotment (it's going spare, if you'd like one - time wasters need not apply). By the end of the weekend, we had somewhere to sit and drink pimms, and more importantly, to photograph little birds. They are now winging their way around new babies in the greater Bristol area.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
I've made the same cards for a while now: cookie cutter bunnies out of green/blue/purple paint samples on a pink or blue background. I just use two the same, and invert one, but you have to be careful what they're called. I painted a room Sexy Pink once. You wouldn't want to put that on a birthday card. Gender stereotyping from birth is all well and good, but that's a step too far!
In one batch, I was left with two bunnies but not enough samples for the card, so one of the cards like this has two bunnies on. I thought it looked fine, but I think now it's going to have to wait until someone pops twins. Boy twins. No pressure guys.
This here is the parcel I sent to my good friend Joy. I've known her since university days. She was the first to have a baby, who is now a very grown up nearly nine year old (and my god daughter to boot). Time has passed, and we've all grown up a bit, and Joy now has a new husband and a new baby, and I don't see nearly enough of her.
The blanket is tiger eye lace. I did have a pattern for it (as a scarf) but the site seems to have disappeared. It was a bugger to knit! But very pretty, so I guess worth it in the end.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Thursday, 30 April 2009
There's an episode of the Simpsons, where Lisa is worried that there's a Simpson's gene, that kicks in when you're 10 and turns you stupid. Not unreasonably, she's based this on her experience of Homer and Bart. But Marge, as ever, knows better, and in a lovely example of experiential learning, organises a party for all of Homer's cousins. The cousins, including the women, are clearly all drawn from the Homer template. Most of the men look like drop kicks, but there's one, in tux, who Lisa figures looks successful (error #1). Lisa approaches him to ask what he does. On closer inspection, his tux is slightly shabby. Turns out, he impersonates rick people at parties. Fortunately, the female cousins are all far more successful, being Pulitzer prize winning novelists and the like. Lisa deduces that there is a Simpson gene, but it only affects boys. Her and Maggie are spared.
Why this is relevant to this post is because of the similarities of Homer and his cousins. When I see my dad with his cousins, it's like that. Even the ones that aren't related to each other, other than as like fifth cousins, once removed. They don't all look like one another, but you could arrange them like a colour chart, and go, via my Dad, from my uncle Peter all the way to cousin Tony. Anyway, the only time I ever see them all together now is at the funerals of the generation above, my great aunts and uncles.
Most of the great aunts and uncles lived in the North of England, in Cumbria, and over the last few years, there's been a nasty outbreak of funerals. I went, when I was pregnant with Child B, for Great Aunt Cicely's. This was catered by the Women's Guild who treated it as a cake competition. I sat on a knitting needle on the train on the way home, causing considerable blood loss, and the first and so far only knitting injury I have sustained. Even funeral's have high and low points. But a trip to one of these funerals inevitably involves staying in Penrith, which is a funny little northern market town. My mum thinks it's Satan's own market town, but I quite like it. We even went on holiday near there a couple of years ago. We went to Eden Ostrich World. They have a zebroid. A zebroid no less. It was brilliant.
Sadly, this year Great Uncle Vernon died, so we all traipsed up again for his funeral. He was in his nineties, and had been a vicar. There was a considerable ecclesiastical turn out at the church, possibly the most men in dresses you get outside a transvestite convention.
Penrith is one of those towns that seems to have a lot of bed shops, and a lot of children's clothes shops. Perhaps because it's so cold and bleak, all there is to do is go to bed. And once you're there, you better make some babies cos otherwise you'd get bored. But it also has a fantastic book shop and a knitting shop with one of the rudest women in I've ever met. So rude in fact I'm not going to link to her. Yeah, that'll learn her. But I did still buy some wool from her, to make some edging for a blanket I think I've made and posted off without photographing. Whoops.
It's a terrible picture, but the wool is lots of pinky purply colours. It became a scalloped edging for a chunky cream moss stitch baby blanket.
But really, the star of the Penrith shopping scene is Help the Aged, where I went on the rampage, coming out with three silk scarves, which I think will embellish skirts I have yet to make, and some beautiful vintage buttons. I had to keep bartering the shop lady up. She was trying to give me three for two deals and all sorts, but I put my foot down, and said I was completely happy to pay 50p a scarf, yes, even for the smaller one. I went into raptures for the buttons, and have vaguely fantasized about going back (it's 5 hours away) for some more. They had a whole shoe box of vintage ones. So, all in all, it was a good haul. Just a shame to bury Uncle Vermin though.
Saturday, 21 March 2009
One year Helena arrived mid marmalade, when it was a team effort with 2 other women (that's about a zillion oranges). I think she was a bit surprised to see a quiet Sunday, family kinkatink style.
So this year we made normal orange marmalade, plus extra exciting pink grapefruit marmalade. And then we decorated them all with pretty stickers and tops that my mum bought me for Christmas. Now we have a whole cupboard full of preserves, which should last a whole year.
Roll on summer and genuine jam. I hope you like jamming too.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
As you do, I then started whinging about this at work, to my poor office mate, a 23 year man, who just should not be expected to care about my crafting dilemmas. But (fanfare) he did. And he cared so much, the next day he arrived with a carrier bag full of jeans. He's called Billy. I've had this stuck in my head ever since. Only with alternative lyrics.
Alright my lover
He's just a guy who think's that I'm like his Mum
But the kid is not my son...
So I made a wall hanging thing
Which was a bit weird, because it made my house smell of fabric conditioner. Who knew young men could be so fastidious (or that we are so slovenly, that a well conditioned pair of jeans could change the whole smell aesthetic of our house).
Billy could tell me all about all the different pairs of jeans, and what they meant to him, so even though I don't know the stories, it's nice to know that the whole hanging is embued with the sort of memories that crafters often attribute to their scraps and stashes. But one pair clearly had particular meaning as The Best Jeans Ever. Face it, we've all had a pair, we all know just how much they mean to us, and that, daft though it often seems, we don't ever think it will be recaptured. I did offer to repair them, but on inspection realised they were entirely beyond repair. And I'm not his mum.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
In only a couple of short weeks time it is, in chronological order (as opposed to order of priority, alphabetical, what they add up to if you wrote them in binary) it is Spring (yay!) Mother's Day and My Birthday. Also, by then I'll have done my half marathon, and therefore will have fallen off the wagon in, hopefully, quite a spectacular way. But not immediately afterwards, because I did that in 2006 and it hurt really badly for days, and then I was pregnant.
So, if anyone out there (and really that just means my husband) is wondering what I might like to celebrate with, may I make some suggestions*:
- Buttons, ribbons, notions (that means pretty things if you're a man reading this)
- Simplicity 4076
- A rotary cutter
- A cutting mat, for my rotary cutter, so I don't carve up the dining room table
- Craft books
- Leon Cookbook
- A subscription to Sew Hip
- A Clothkits skirt or a Gossypium dress
- Bendicks After Dinner Mints (I am willing to share these with the donor)
- A birthday cake with candles
- Blue / green / yellow Kool Aid (but you already knew that)
- A sunny day on the allotment
And, most importantly
- Time to play with it all!
*Not being the greedy type, I don't expect all of this stuff. But a couple of bits would be nice.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
If you want to check out what every one got for Christmas, scroll down. If you know how to do anything about my little time travel problem, let me know.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
I also covered a couple of boxes with music to give as gift boxes.
And here is two batches of aprons I made for all my kids' friends. Inevitably, I got the idea online, but can't remember where. All you do is cut the corners off a tea towel, and sew bias tape round, leaving good long tails to tie behind the bag and making a loop to go over the child's head. I also used bondaweb to iron on monograms and little motifs (stars and flowers mostly). They met all the prerequisites I have for bulk gifting: low unit cost, lost time cost, highly personalisable, appropriate for girls and boys of different ages. And they were sweet! I used really cheapy tea towels, but you could really get carried away with some of the beautiful ones you get in craft type shops. Or kitsch ones from a charity / souvenir shop.
It seems wierd blogging about Christmas decs too, but I was proud of my angels, one a cut out from the Guardian, the other Heston Blumenthal from the Observer. There's a possibility that he's actually a god, not an angel, but he was good on the tree. The funny cone things were pseudo Christmas trees for on top of the piano. Actually, they're still there.
hot water bottle covers for the boys. It's snowing today, and they both sat huddled on the sofa with their hotties, under an ancient blanket. They were so snug! They're just felted jumpers cut up and stitched together. The sleeves make the neck, and I used the waist band for the opening on one side. Dead easy. Just don't tell them that.