Monday, 19 May 2014

There were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident

Some children can read, write and count at 3; other children can build a very stack of chairs and climb up to the top.

Lucy's friend had a Flower Power party, and we dressed up. Lucy originally wanted to wear the flower at the front.

Photos of my children once a week, every week, in 2014.  Week 20.  Where has this year gone?

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Mistrust all enterprise that requires new clothes


Day 7: a post run, post shower selfie, with my spotty Coco and my trusty M&S jeggings.

Day 8: Love at First Stitch was released today; Tilly's first pattern was the lovely Brigitte scarf, worn here with my fleecy Coco and M&S jeggings.   I like to think it makes me look very French.  

Day 9: no picture because I didn't get a chance, but I remember wearing my stripey Coco, and guess what?  I have two pairs, so I wear them in rotation.

Day 10: I was busy all day, climbing mountains (hills in Devon), so didn't take pictures, but I wore my cherry Coco with leggings and trainers, and was very hot until it started raining, then I was nice and comfortable.

Day 11: First Class ticket home, and the Hello Dolly! dress.  It's a bit too big, and the lining shows, so I'm going to topstitch it into place, and give it a good wash.  Might work.

Day 12: Summer in Capri cardigan, jeggings, birkenstocks in honour of the sun.  

Day 13: I was supposed to be working on SEN stuff all day, but as it turned out I had to go into class, so I was far too cold until I came home and put on the fleecy Coco and my boots.  The spotty skirt is the first one I made, last year when I got the sewing machine out again.

Day 14: spotty Coco, black trousers.  BORING, but very practical.

Day 15: Fleecy Coco, black trousers, birkenstocks.  BORING, practical and too hot. Hurrah.

Day 16: Summer in Capri cardigan, polka dot skirt, birkenstocks.  Relatively practical for school, comfortable and nice and cool.  I love Rowan Calmer; I cannot believe it is discontinued.

Day 17: Lucy took this picture while we were waiting for her ballet exam this morning.  The Cherry Coco, with my black trousers, which are now absolutely filthy after I tidied up the garden wearing them, and knelt on snails, slugs and bulbs, as well as mud and rotten leaves.  Ah Saturdays.  

There you go, another round up of what I have been wearing.  Not very interesting, as my hand made wardrobe is very limited.  I have a lot of lovely woolly jumpers, but they aren't very practical in May.  Most of the time.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Well, you have a sweet bike, and you're really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus you're, like, the only guy at school who has a mustache.

Handmade May is nearly halfway through now, and I've really had a good look at my wardrobe and the clothes in it.  It turns out that I really wear the same two pairs of jeggings with various tops on rotation, and while I do wear skirts and dresses occasionally, what I really need (NEED) are a variety of basic tops that will work with various garments, and a way to make trousers without horrible flashbacks to Upper Three, and the terrible Textiles lessons. 

I've ordered Tilly and the Buttons' book, and I know she has a pattern for pyjama trousers, so that will be a good start, and I've got a pattern for a "zippy" top, that apparently takes minutes to make, but requires cutting out and taping together, and that worries me.  Learning new skills is hard, especially when you actually don't have very much time to do them.

Old skills: I finally finished Lucy's cardigan.  Hattie is now clamoring for one of her own, but she must wait until I've finished at least one of the jumpers I'm making myself.  That sodding Wisteria is still only half way through, and the Idlewild is missing a sleeve.  The WIPs are beginning to overwhelm me.  I have the Weather blanket to do (12 out of 36 done for April, none for May), the Hexipuff blanket has been put on hold, the Elephant Blanket needs 4 more stripes, I've only got one Peacock mitten and one blue and grey sock, and the blanket for my nephew's Christmas present is currently one square.  Plus Lucy wants a 6th birthday party blanket, and Simon brought me the yarn for our new godson's birthday blanket, so there's that to do too.  

WIP Wednesday.  Moan moan moan.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Quick Dad, we're missing the giant capybaras of Uruguay!

Photographs from a sunny Bank Holiday in Rottingdean.

Hattie likes to explore the beach.  She generally comes back, pockets through of stones, which she hands to us to carry, as stones are too heavy Mummy.

Lucy catching bubbles.  I don't know what it is about bubbles; all children under the age of about 40 absolutely adore them.  Grandad bought us a bubble machine, it is all kinds of brilliant.  

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

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Don't touch me Shannan. You're a dirty hippie and you do not get punk at all.

A bit about running.

After 2 and a half weeks, I've now done 3 weeks of the Couch to 5K, mostly by skipping one of the rest days, and running every other day since Easter Monday. Let me repeat that for those of you who know me in real life: I have been running every other day since Easter Monday.  This is really extraordinary.  I still can't say I actually enjoy it yet, but it's getting easier and easier, although this morning's run was a real bugger.  I can now do 4 minutes running without stopping or dying, and on Friday will attempt to run for 5.  I know it's not much really, but it's a lot better than I've ever done before.  The week after I get to run for 8 minutes.  Piece of cake.

A bit about sewing.

I made a stripy Coco at the weekend; Simon took the children to the pub, and I stayed at home and did stuff.  It took less than 2 hours from beginning to end.  What I want to know is why, when my measurements haven't changed, did the top come out so much bigger than the spotty one that I'm wearing now?  I used the size I've always used, and it is just a bit too big.  The fabric is from the lovely Village Haberdashery, and is gorgeous, and they sent it very quickly.  I want the Indigo and White stripe, and the Grey and White stripe too.  It must be a bit more stretchy than the fabrics I've used before.  My stripe matching was top notch, completely accidentally, but most pleasingly.  

A bit about knitting.

I made a present for my brand new nephew, but I've only just sent it off, so you'll have to look on Instagram to see it; as I don't know if my sister in law reads this, and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  But it's made me think: why not knit a Coco type top, as I love it so.  I've put some things on a Pinterest board, if you are bored, but it's not working very well at the moment.  Anyway, it involves buying more wool.  Because I can never have enough.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Pawnee's library department is the most diabolical ruthless bunch of bureaucrats I've ever seen. They're like a biker gang. But instead of shotguns and crystal meth, they use political savvy... and shushing.

"Me" Made May is going well, for all I still want to cover my eyes and cry everytime I read that.  I've taken to very deliberating putting it in inverted commas when explaining it to normal, non-sewing people, who then wonder why an intelligent person is talking like a three year old.  I'm used to it by now.

What I've been wearing.

Day 1.  Spotty Coco.  The fabric looks ancient, and I suspect it had been in Ealing Fabrics for a while.  I should probably have washed it first, as it had a fold line down the middle, and looked a bit silly at first.

Day 2.  Fleecy Coco top, denim skirt, shoes from Office.  The fleece is really pilling now, which is not great; but I love the top, it washes well, and dries so fast.  I'm aiming to make at least one more in fleece in order to have one for everyday.

Day 3.  Hello Dolly! dress, gold sandals from Office.  I love this dress.  It's so brilliant, so flattering and so outrageous.  I don't wear it to school.  Obviously.

Day 4.  The Original and the Best Cherry Coco, with black leggings and trainers.  We cycled to church and back which is a great way to wake us up.  It's only 3 km there and back, so not too far at all.

Day 5.  At last, a knitted top.  My Miss Scarlett top, which I made yonks ago, while I was pregnant with Hattie, and rarely wear, simply because I don't like to wear it to school.  Something to do with all the paint.  I wore it to go to Rottingdean on Monday to see Simon's aunt.

Day 6.  Striped Coco, denim skirt, leggings.  Harriet shredded my last nerve on Sunday, so Simon took them to the pub and I sat and sewed.  It took less than 2 hours, I'm so familiar with the pattern now.  It is, however, too big, so I need to adapt it a bit, and cut a smaller size next time.  Because there will be a next time.  

Six days of handmade clothes.  The documenting is the difficult part.  Can you tell how little I like being in photos.  

Monday, 5 May 2014

There is no human bliss equal to twelve hours of work with only six hours in which to do it.

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

Week 18

Hattie likes to play by herself.  She takes over an entire room with her Octonauts, her dolls, her Lego people and the zoo animals, turning the conservatory into a wonderland, and woe betide the foolish parent who moves any of the toys.  I try to play with her sometimes, which she tolerates for a bit, eventually quietly and kindly removing the toys I was playing with and continuing her game in another part of the room; pointedly turning her back on her completely impossible mother.

Lucy is determined to learn to ride her big girl's bike, with no stabilisers and no help from us.  It is going as well as you can imagine, and I think a couple more weeks are needed to get the concept of balance, staying on and not giving up when you fall off.  She is only 5, so this is normal behaviour, but I wish she would accept that she needs us to help her sometimes.