Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Generally you don't see that kind of behaviour in a major appliance.

Me-Made-May starts tomorrow, and while I'm no keener on the title, I'm quite looking forward to swanning about in my super dooper handmade wardrobe.  I have to do some mending, and there's a small matter of a dress made out of clouds to make, as well as a red and white spotty dress; plus the fabric for a couple of new Cocos fell into my internet shopping basket earlier, though not as much as I was planning to buy, a lot was out of stock.  Which is probably a good thing.  PROBABLY.



Lots of lovely things to do to be getting on with; exciting times ahead; work jogging along pretty nicely; running not as hard as I thought it would be; brace yourselves for lots of pictures, mostly of me for a change.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Then the traveller in the dark thanks you for your tiny spark

Photos of my children, once a week, every week in 2014.

Bit behind, what with one thing and another.

Week 16:

Good Friday.  I think they were watching "Frozen".  Simon had been in America for a few days and had just returned that morning, jetlagged, tired, ready for home comforts.  The children were over-stimulated, tired and grumpy.  Synergy.

Week 17:

Term has started for both Lucy and I.  Things are returning to normal, in a way, except Grandad is staying, as Hattie's Nursery is still on holiday.  More chaos.  Before the storm, the lull.

Easter Monday, before the rain came.  We were all underdressed, considering. At least we didn't get too wet.  

Monday, 28 April 2014

I won't push you, unless you have a net


Some things are just too sugary sweet for me.  I can't really cope with the title of this challenge "me made it" "me done it" "me talk pretty some day"; but I am completely behind the sentiment.  I try really, really hard to wear my beloved handmade clothes, and am expanding my wardrobe to include useful tops as well as pretty dresses.  I have a huge amount of woolly jumpers and woolly socks, and quite a few skirts, but not much that I can pull on over a pair of jeans; which is where the delightful Coco pattern comes in.  I made a new one last week; honestly, it took me just under two hours from fabric to garment.  I didn't bother with pockets because I don't think that they add to my look, but the funnel neck is in place, and I didn't need any adjustments.

You can even have a bonus selfie with a silly expression and gorgeous new hair.  I take no credit for my hair; my hairdresser gives it a shear every couple of months, and the rest of the time it grows out at right angles to my head.  I have finally accepted that I can't have long hair, it just looks silly, and I shouldn't even try.

This is my "Me-Made-May" "pledge". Very formal, but I suppose that writing it down will keep me on track.

I, Julia ( sign up as a participant of Me-Made May '14. I will endeavour to wear at least one garment that I've made everyday during May 2014. The challenge bit is to photograph myself and put it on Instagram - I hate being in photographs. I'm also going to make one dress and finish one jumper in May.

It should be do-able. I will put some pictures up here, but you can follow me on Instagram if you are so inclined, as sljuls. How exciting.

I was going to give up booze for a bit too, but with all these selfies, I don't think I'll be able to.

We know what we are, but not what we may be

As you know, I've been doing a lot of dressmaking recently.  This has been great fun, caused massive envy and wonder in my friends and has opened up a new world of the INTERNET SEWIST, all of which have added joy to my life; but I have also been measuring myself.  Now I know I'm not thin.  I'm not, unless I am at Ally Pally for a knitting event, particularly slim.  I have generous hips and a bust, and even my waist, the narrowest part of me, isn't especially narrow.  The amount of fabric I have to use is excessive, and in a desperate attempt to reduce expenditure, I've started running.

Obviously, I've got an app - "Get Running", which allows me to use my own music; lots of puffing around West Ealing to bad 1980s pop.  I've just started week 2 of the couch to 5k programme, and it's been interesting in many ways.  I'm not a natural runner; and I really can't say that I enjoy myself, but I feel a billion dollars afterwards.  Arrogant as ever, I decided yesterday that I can run for a minute and a half, so I've added 30 seconds to that in order to progress faster.  Of course my teacher doesn't know best; something I've always known.

I haven't remeasured myself recently; I think I will wait until week 4 for that particular treat, but I feel better for doing some exercise.  As a primary school teacher, I'm on my feet pretty much all afternoon, but this is different.  I'm much more aware of the way I'm moving in space, and where I am in relation to the rest of the world.  Also, I'm neither red faced nor panting at the end, and that can only be a good thing.  I've agreed to sign up for a Race for Life in Windsor, and I'm determined to run the whole bloody way.  It's in June and about 2 weeks before the end of the course, so I'm really going to have to put some effort in.  It's 5k, and so far I can manage to walk and run 2 and a half, so not much more to do surely?  Surely? 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

That's like me blaming owls for how bad I suck at analogies.

The holidays are over.  We were in Bristol for the second week - abandoned by Simon, we drove as fast as we could down the M4, almost running out of petrol between the last services and the M32 exit on the M4.

Some pictures.

We had a brilliant time.  My former colleague and his wife have two children, the girl a few weeks younger than Lucy, the boy a year or so younger than Hattie, so actually, I didn't have to do very much at all for a few days beyond go for lunch and look after all four children occasionally.  It was absolutely lovely, and I'm looking forward to the return match in July.  It's handy knowing other teachers with young children; you've always got someone to visit in the holidays.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

I have noticed that the people who are late are often so much jollier than the people who have to wait for them.

I banged on and on about sewing a dress for the Sew Dolly Clackett event ages ago, and I've only gone and done it.

It's not the greatest of photos, but you get the general idea.  It's a Cambie dress, and it was a bit of a pain in the bum to make.  I found that either my measurements were incorrect or I can't read numbers, and the toile made the bodice way too big and the waist way too small.  Lots of swearing later, and the lining of the bodice fits well, but the shell is a bit big.  I had to make the bust darts deeper, and shorten the straps, so this picture is not a very accurate one. Still, the fabric is terrific and I love it, and I will wear it when I'm not at work.  For a first attempt at making a fitted lined pattern, this isn't that bad.  Shame about the state of the kitchen.

There are thousands of other Sew Dolly Clackett dresses on flickr; you can find them here.  You can find out about Roisin and her intended here, and you can find a Cambie sewing pattern here.  The pattern is lovely, and all errors were mine.  The instructions are very clear too, and I am going to have a go at making another one soon. 

I've had a bit of a break from blogging recently, what with one thing and another, but I've got all sorts of things to say, and now we're safely back at home, I can find the time and space to say them.  

Lucky old you.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.

Photos from last week.  Half way through the Easter holidays already.  Boo.

Linton, Norwich, Wimpole, elephants, new godsons, a million daffodils, sunshine, cake, playgrounds, swings and ice cream.  All in a day's work.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.

A few days off turned into almost two weeks.  All I had to say was that my back was sore, and that I was busy and tired, so I stopped talking.  My back's better, and term is ended, and we had a few days in Cambridge, and I'm quite keen to start writing again.

Two weeks of portraits.

Week 14

Hattie is balancing on the step into the conservatory, using a strip from my Coco dress.  I have given up trying to explain her.

Lucy wanted a go at driving the car.  She's sitting on Simon's lap, steering pretty well.  Hattie had a go too, which was terrifying.  

Week 15

Friday.  The laziest girls in Ealing.  It must have been about half ten, and they're in my bed, watching Octonauts.  Marvellous, as Hattie says.

A bonus shot of Lucy with a life sized model of a polar bear.  Taken today, at London Zoo.  I didn't really realise just how big they were; they are actually quite terrifyingly huge.

Portraits of my children once a week, every week, in 2014.