Saturday, 31 January 2009

Red and Yellow and Pink and Green...

Last week I was working away when a little person appeared in the doorway to announce that she was 'bored' and 'did I have anything which she could do?' . I had been thinking for ages about sorting out the contents of my ever growing button box into colours, to make it easier to find the ones I needed. I said that if she wanted to, she could start sorting the buttons onto colours for me. I had half expected her to say no, but to my surprise she said yes and got on with the task.

Every now and then, another little pair of hands would come to 'help' and occasionally another even smaller pair of hands would creep into the study and mix all the colours together... oops!

Lady bug really took the task to heart and every day this week, she would do a little sorting before she went to school... and a little sorting before she went to bed... and yesterday produced this-

Voila!! A whole windowsill of lovely colours each in their own little pot!

She was so proud of what she had done, and I was so proud of her for sticking to the task so diligently. I found it fascinating listening to her reasoning for why certain colours went into which pot. That "some buttons looked white at first, but when you look closely they are really pink or blue or yellow". She may have not sorted them the way that I would have done, but I'm going to leave them just the way they are.

Monday, 26 January 2009


There's been a lot of hilarity around the house recently. It all came from deciding that Pickle needs to take a step closer to being potty trained. Now I know that the words 'potty training' and 'hilarity' do not usually find themselves together in the same sentence, but let me explain...

It all started with choosing her 'big girl pants' except she can't quite manage to say that, so it came out as 'giggle pants', which made us smile , except that her pull ups had a picture of a rabbit on them - 'bunny pants'

..which came out as 'funny pants' .

If only it really was so amusing.....

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Where did the week go?

Goodness! I can't believe it's Saturday already. From a lovely lazy Monday, the week seemed to gather speed and now it's Saturday before I can take a breath and pause a little. Yet despite all this busyness (and probably because of it) I have little to show for it. There are lots of 'half finished' projects all around me, yet not much that is actually done.

I've been making the girls a nightdress each in my dressmaking classes. A nice and easy project to start with, and it will solve the problem of finding nice ones. Little Miss Chatterbox loves to sleep in nighties, she really doesn't like pyjamas, but I've had lots of problems finding ones that we both like. We both love the older style long nighties to be found in Boden and The White company, but by the time I have bought one for each of the three girls, it's close to 90 pounds! I found a lovely soft, brushed cotton and a good pattern and chose that as my project. At the moment I'm making the one for Ladybug in the class and then coming home to do the same to the other two. I'm really pleased with how they are turning out, and apart from sewing up a sleeve inside out, they have gone very smoothly! I'll choose something more challenging for my next project, something with buttonholes and a zip.

My knitting has come to a bit of a standstill too :-( . I haven't picked up my needles since last weekend. At this speed, my lovely snuggly cardigan will be finished in the middle of the summer!

My quilt is still in pieces on the floor, although the spare part did arrive for my sewing machine..

The study is still in disarray..

..but one thing I did manage to finish was my swap for my swap partner for the fat quarter swap, and a package is now winging its way across to America. Here is a very tiny peek, as I don't want to spoil the surprise!

I still need to do my package for my mug swap partner though!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Another year older..

Today is my birthday and I have been thoroughly spoilt! After being woken up with a cup of coffee (my husband know me so well!) and everyone singing Happy Birthday in Dutch and English, I was allowed to open my presents. I have had some really lovely things and some wonderful surprises. As the Pickle goes to nursery on Monday mornings, I had the very rare opportunity of going into town with my husband for coffee - just the two of us! It's something that doesn't happen very often even though he works from home, so it was very lovely.

I was surprised this afternoon with a cake and candles. I also had a very productive time making corsages and putting together my package for my swap partner in the fq. swap

Tonight we are all eating out together as I absolutely refuse to cook!

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Wow! Look what arrived for me today, from America....

I was given this book for Christmas and fell in love with the patchwork throw . I have never done any patchwork or quilting before, but seeing this throw and being inspired through this lady's blog, I decided to make my first quilt. Surprisingly, while looking for fabric, I discovered that not only was the Amy Butler fabric much cheaper in America, but that the difference in postage cost between buying it here and buying it from America was hardly anything. I found this lady's shop on Ebay and ordered some pre-cut squares and some fat quarters.

I also ordered these from this lady,

to make a block like this:

I'm not sure if I'll put it in this one or use it for something else....

I got a bit carried away though and ended up buying a pack of Heather Bailey squares too! Which I think I'll use for a separate quilt - if the first one succeeds that its!
I have to confess, these are by far my favourites. I love the colours and the pattern designs.

So, I have been patiently waiting for my package to arrive and today it did! I know that I've got way too much fabric for just one quilt, so am now busy thinking of all the different things that I can make as well. I've decided that I'm not going to make a quilt using just the squares, but hope to make it similar to the one in the book, made of differing sized squares and rectangles.

Well, that's the plan anyhow. Only trouble is my sewing machine is broken at the moment, we're waiting for the part to arrive. So for now I'll take a peek over here for inspiration and spend far too much time arranging and re-arranging the squares in pretty patterns on the floor!

Monday, 12 January 2009

The end of an era

It's been the end of an era in our house today. For the first time in nearly nine years I have no children around and the house is quiet and still. Little Pickle (2 1/2) has started going to nursery for three mornings a week.

( All set to go, with 'Beer' and 'Muzzie')

Because of the small age gaps between my children (the biggest is 27 months!) I have not been child free for a long long time. As soon as one child was ready for nursery, there was always a new baby to take their place - but not now.

With three at school and one just starting nursery, I find myself with all this delicious time to do the things that I want to do and with the ability to do them uninterrupted - hooray! I have even taken the plunge and signed up for a dressmaking course at our local fabric shop - something I have wanted to do for a long time. Being a self- taught knitter, sewer and crocheter, I thought it was about time someone showed me how to do it 'properly' rather than me making it up as I go along! I also plan to start attacking the 'Projects I want to do' list that seems to get longer with each day..

It's bitter-sweet though, this passing of an age. While I look forward to all the things that I can do, it makes me a little sad that there will be no more babies and that my 'babies' are all growing up. Ah well, it had to stop sometime I guess :(

... At least I got this to hang on my wall!

(I must add for those who may be slightly perturbed by the name of Little Pickle's bear, that we are not a family of very heavy drinkers, but that 'beer' is Dutch for bear, and that 'Daddy Long Legs' - ie. my husband, is indeed, Dutch. It has made for some funny moments though - but will tell you those later!)

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

It's all about me!

It was a bit hectic here in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Like many of you, I had the wonderful (at the time) idea of making many of my Christmas presents - except life just kept interrupting the time that I thought I had to make them! That, and all the orders from the Christmas Fair, kept me going right up to Christmas Eve which was when I finished my last order. Fortunately it was for a good friend of mine who lives nearby!

Looking back over all the things that had been knitted and made I realised that I had not made a single thing for me for the whole year! Lots of things for the children and lots of things for others, but nothing for me. So it was without too much guilt that I did a little splurging and bought a little mountain of Noro to make some toasty Winter accessories
and an even larger mountain of Sirdar Big Softie to make this:
What I like about this is the fact that it is knitted on rather large needles and grows very quickly - perfect for me in those quickly grabbed moments when all the children are happy and occupied (or asleep!)

I've not completely finished knitting for others though as I have an outstanding promise to Little Ladybug to finish her reindeer that I have been painfully knitting since Christmas. Painfully because it is the most fiddly pattern ever with lots of tiny little pieces that need to be joined and stitched and blaggh! I shall be glad when it's finished, but have to make myself pick it up every day..

Sunday, 4 January 2009

She did it!

After a number of false starts and more than a little bit of frustration, Little Ladybug (child number two!) has finally managed to enter the world of the Knitter!

It hasn't been an easy journey, and I don't know whether the fact that she's left handed had a part to play in that. I'm not, and I just couldn't get my head around left-handed knitting. In the end, I gave up trying to find a left-handed knitter who could help, and we just went for the good ol' right handed way! So she settled comfortably into 'mummy's knitting chair' and we began...

I just love the concentration on her face...

She chose the wool herself... a vivid blue acrylic - but hey - we can work on that...!

...and decided that she was going to make a scarf for 'Pooh Bear' , her lifelong companion.

I love the way that she even manages to knit with him tucked under her arm

It was a proud moment indeed....

Friday, 2 January 2009

This time I AM going to do it!

Right. After numerous aborted attempts (not good enough/too boring/who would want to read that..etc etc) I am going to write something on my blog and continue with it right to the end until it is there in glorious technicolour for the world to see! I have to get over this first step phobia and then hopefully it will get easier each time and maybe I'll stop being so much of a perfectionist. I'm not sure if there is an etiquette to starting a blog - I feel I know so many of you already from my times spent 'lurking' and leaving the occasional comment on your blogs - that I'm not sure what to disclose this first time! But enough of the waffle - on with the task..

..So, here goes...

Hello everyone!

....and next time I promise to add something more interesting!