Sunday, 29 January 2012


This weekend has been the RSPB's 'Big Garden Birdwatch', which is all about people around the country spending one hour during the weekend counting birds in their garden or local park, to give a picture of how the population of some of our more common birds are doing. Naturally we were going to take part, so we packed up a winter picnic, including a flask of hot chocolate of course, and set of to Plumstead gardens, we thought with our two cats the chance of seeing any birds in our garden was a bit too slim.

We saw two crows

and two feral pigeons
We also saw four dogs, some daisies, a lot of grass and some holly berries.
I feel compeled to let you know that I have not taken these pictures, I can't find the charging lead for my camera at the moment, so I googled for some pictures, which is why they do look a bit more summery than would be expected this time of year. The picture of Plumstead Gardens is taken from almost exactly were we were sitting though.
The boys also chased each other, found a hill to roll down and played hide and seek.

Once we were ready to leave, we had just time to rush home and change some of the more muddy articles of clothing and wipe some chocolaty faces before setting out on new adventures. This time we were of to the new post office in Plumstead, imagen the exitement!  Sadly Tristan fell asleep on the way there, so he didn't get the tour, but Alex got to see where the letters are sorted, where his dad works, and where our letters goes before they go in the post bag. He also helped serving a few costumers, and helped locating their parcels, and eventually he got weighed on the big scales where they weigh the bags before the postmen goes out on their rounds.
Tristan did wake up as we were walking past the carpark, so he did get to see the 'Pat van' which probably were the most exiting for him anyway.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's Christmas!!!!

Oh yes, and the celebrations are in full swing. It started in earnest on Tuesday, when David and I attended our first ever nativity play as parents. We had forgot to bring a camera, I mean really! But a kind dad to a class friend of Alex took a photo of Alex and e-mailed it to me:

I think the enormity of the occasion escaped Alex somewhat, as he mostly sat and looked up in the ceiling looking decidedly bored. But we were treated to some beautiful singing as they preformed 'Little donkey', 'Away in the manger' and, randomly, 'The little drumerboy'. The actual nativity was preformed by year two pupils, and was much like all other nativity plays ever.

On Thursday Trissy attended a Christmas party at the Salvation Army's toddler group, unfortunately there are no photos from there, as we are not allowed to take any. One of the organisers took some for their hall, and I did ask that he e-mailed me any of just Trissy, but as I have not heard from him I assume there weren't any without other children in. Much fun was had though, Trissy made Christmas decorations, had some scrummy food, and got to see Father Christmas and got a package with three books in, which I was really very impressed by, bearing in mind we only paid a few pounds to attend. There were also some singing and story reading, but Trissy was busy having a go at all the toys whilst they were free.

The lavish celebrations continued last night at the children's nanny's house (that's grandmother, not a personal child carer by the way). We did mange to get quite a few pictures from there, Alex took a few himself.

Alex with my car key, before we sat off.

At the party.

The littlest relation. Jamie, son of Alex and Trissy's cousin Mick. Photo by Alex.

That's our Christmas so far, hopefully I'll be able to post some more updates later.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

A new start?

OK so now it's quite exactly a year since last I wrote, this last year has been frankly  a bit rubbish, and I have not really felt that there has been much happening that I have been comfortable sharing with the world at large, but hopefully all that is now past and I'm back feeling much better and more positive. So what is going on in our lives at the moment? Quite a lot actually.
Alex has just started school:
Here he is in his uniform, it is way to big for him, for sizes were rather limited, and at least now he will have something to grow into.

I have decided to try to register to become a childminder, the decision really came about as I have struggled to get a job outside of David's work hours, and we have realised that if we were to pay for childcare, there would be very little gained from me working. I also really enjoy being at home with our kids, and I really want to be here with Trissy, when Alex was little I was working full time in the city and hardly ever saw him. I will be having an inspection on Monday, where they will be checking our house (eeek!) and also see what I understand about child protection and the Early Years Foundation Stage. So I better get some cleaning and reading done over the next couple of days. As a good friend is coming over tonight for dinner and wine, it will be a bit tight with time, but I work best under pressure ( I hope).

Monday, 13 September 2010


I haven't not very much to report on really, I certainly haven't finished any more projects recently. I have, however, started a few. Or rather I've started tracing out patterns. I've decided to make Alex a pair of Dortje trousers (from Sewing Clothes Kids Love). According to the book they are girls trousers, but frankly, at this age I can't really see how it makes a difference. I'm going to make them in blue denim (from what used to be my old maternity jeans) with details in a grey/black tiger stripey denim fabric I got from I've decided to spend some time this week tracing quite a few patterns I want to make from various Ottobre magasines. I've decided to participate in a Kids Clothes Week Challenge (see the little button on the right) next week, and I don't want to take up loads of time preparing patterns. I'm hoping to finish the trousers for Alex, and also make a couple of pyjamas for Tristan.
So watch this space...

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Oh, it's been a very long time, I blame the summer holidays. With Alex home all day, there's not been much time for me to make anything, let alone write about it. Still, back to nursery on Monday, so I shall try to do better. Some weeks ago I cut out the parts for a new IMKE shirt for Alex, and I showed them to him explaining what it was and how it was going to fit together and he was very impressed, so last weekend, he obviously thought he had waited long enough for it, as he gave me a stern look and said; so anyway mummy, are you going to make that top for me or not? Fair enough, I got the machine out that night and of I went. It actually took two nights to stitch together as the threads kept breaking, at first I thought it might be because the thread is cheap and maybe not so good, I got a job lot from e-bay some time ago, but it appears that it is getting worse, and it only affects the upper thread which makes me think my machine needs servicing. Shall have to look into that, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know! I think it breaks where the thread first descend from the top of the machine to the bottom, and at times it breaks every ten cm or so. I shall try if it works better of non stretch fabric, with a straight stitch.
Anyway here is the finished result:

The main body, the hood and the long sleeves are made in a turquoise jersey fabric, and the hood lining and and the short sleeves are in a yellow jersey with turquoise monkey faces. Alex likes monkeys. I think if I do another one of these for him, and I would imagine I will, I'll make the hole for the head a bit bigger, although the two I have made are a bit on the big side, it's a bit of a struggle to get it over his head, I've noticed that with other, bought tops too, so I think he might have a quite big head. Physically as well as figuratively speaking.

While this is the only thing I have completed over the summer, I do not want you to think that there has been a creative lull in our house. Oh no, Alex has been very busy, making and painting pictures and things.

This is what our dining room table has been looking like during most of the last few weeks. In this picture you can see a picture, in a frame, of a robot and his bright red van. 
  Here is a picture he painted today with bath crayons on the side of our bath tub, apparently it's Goldilocks and a singing bird. He has since added another person to it as well. I must admit that I am really rather impressed, and proud, by this. He's only three and a half! I pretty much still draw like that.

I shall try not to be so long next time, I'm planning to have a go at a pair of trousers to Alex next, but of course that is depending on the machine. Other then that I have quite a lot of unfinished projects on the go which could do with some attention. I started crocheting an elephant for Alex when we were on holiday, and I got the pattern and materials for a monkey for Tristan, then of course there is the birth samplers for both Tristan and cousin Poppy which I'm cross stitching they might have to wait a while for them though...

Monday, 14 June 2010

Busy bee...

So eventually I did get time to finish Alex's fleece, and I am really rather happy with it. Luckily so is Alex, I've actually not been able to get it of him other then to sleep the last couple of days, so it's been a matter of wash in the evening, and dry over night. Thankfully fleece dries fairly quickly so it's not been a real problem.

As you can see I've used the lime fleece for the body, and the olive for sleeves and hood, I also lined the hood with a lime coloured jersey fabric I also bought at Dots N Stripes ( see my blog list for Nicole's blog, or my previous entry for a link to her shop-I love it!). I think it's working really well.
One thing in particular that I am pleased about with this top is a clever little detail on the hood, which was suggested in Sewing Clothes Kids Love. Instead of putting in a drawstring in the hood for the kids to get all tangled up in, they suggested putting in a little piece of elastic in the front of the hood, in the hem allowance, and it really works, and it looks very nice too I think. It's on the whole a very nice book, as ever there is more girl clothes then boy's ones, but that's just to be expected, I still feel I'll get plenty of use of its projects, and as the sizes goes from toddler to 11-12 years, I can see myself making hundreds of IMKE shirts in different versions over the next ten or so years.

Sewing Clothes Kids Love: Sewing Patterns and Instructions for Boys' and Girls' Outfits

But that's not all I've been doing recently, oh no, I've also finished a little bag for myself (although Alex did try to get me to give it to him) it's a bit of a cheat really as the fabric to this project came ready cut with Cath Kidstone's 'Sew', so I really just had to stitch it together.

Compare and contrast the pictures...
It did also allow me to practise making my first ever button holes, four of them, I can definitely do with some more practise on them, although it wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I do feel as if I am getting better with my sewing though, which is nice, I am certain that if people who really know their stuff were to inspect some of the seems on either of those projects, they might find one or two things to improve upon, but that is just what I'm doing, so I'm OK with that.

I haven't really got anything else started at them moment, although I am hoping to get a few baby bloomers finished for Tristan, and maybe also cousin Poppy, before we go to Sweden for to weeks on Saturday. I know that bloomers probably is considered a female piece of clothing, but I figure if I make Tristan's in a manly sober blue or similar, it is just possible that he will mange without getting any problems in the future. He might even not know it's girls clothes, and I do think at the crawling age, they are much more practical then shorts which goes down over the knees. And he will look adorable in them, of course he always does as you can see here:
Feeding himself...

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Back and raring to go!

OK, so now I have brushed myself down, and stopped feeling sorry for myself. I have spent a not inconsiderable amount of money on new scissors, pins, needles and a really great project bag to keep it all in.
I have also eventually had the chance to actually started a new project; I am planning to make a fleece for Alex using the IMKE pattern from 'Sewing clothes kids loves':

by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn using this doubled faced olive/lime fleece from Dots and Stripes

( a lovely web shop, well worth a visit at any time).
At this precis moment I have only traced and cut out the pattern pieces, but I am hoping to get a chance to continue with it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Oh dratt!

I appear to have lost the bag I made some time back, I would make a little link here for you to my earlier post, but I can't work out quite how to do that so you'll just have to scroll back to see it. It would have been quite annoying enough had it just been the bag which was lost, but in it was the green dress, which I was making a few adjustments too, and a rather lovely project bag in which I kept both my fabric scissors, and another pair of scissors, as well as a fair few sewing extras I had treated myself too over the last few months as well as the latest number of Ottobre and a Swedish sewing magazine my mum had just sent over, I just kept them in the bag to show the other ladies at the course. So essentially I've lost the first two things I've ever really completed, as well as some of my most expensive sewing equipment, so I am a little bit upset. I will however brush myself down and carry on, I hope to post fairly soon on some new project.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

At long last...

I've finished my dress! It's taken me ages, as I had to order a zipper foot, surprisingly difficult to find one for my sewing machine, and also, as ever there is a lot going on here.

Alex has started nursery, which he loves, and he comes home soaked or covered in paint most days, which surely must be a good thing! The ladies have commented that they have never known a kid like it for getting mucky.

When he's not there we do try to do some fun things together, the other day he helped me making the desserts:

The dessert Alex made

Anyway, here is the dress, in it's complete form:

The dress that I made

I did get Dave to take a photo of me wearing it, but I looked like Jabba the hut in a dress. It is massively large, but I did take the measurement when I was seven month pregnant, so I would have been more upset if it was the right size.

I'm really pleased that I've finished it though, as I want to start making clothes for the boys now, and Alex is really looking forward to getting some. I have rather been hoarding fabric, and I also think that if Dave don't see it being turned in something, anything really, he might start whinging. Some trousers for Alex next, I think, followed by t-shirts and coats for them both. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Small steps forwards...

We've had a hectic couple of weeks here, both the boys have been ill, but as of yesterday they are both officially over it for this time. It has not left a lot of time for writing here though, or indeed for doing things worth writing about.
I've however managed to get some bits and pieces done on my dress; for instance I've done my first ever pleats and I'm really rather pleased with them.

From the front...

...and the back

I'm hoping to finish it this week, a little bit depending on how I get on with the zipper, having never put one in before I'm a little bit nervous about it. I'd really like to get it done though as I'm really impatient to start some other things, not least I've got things planned for the boys, but more about that another time.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Lazy Sunday...

but still rather productive. It's been lazy in-as-so much that we haven't done any of the boring but necessary things we always try, and often fail, do get done on a Sunday, such as cleaning and laundry. I did instead spend most of my day making this bag from a book called 'Weekend Sewing' by Heather Ross, and I am really rather proud over it:

And here you can see the lining as well:

I really started it last Saturday, with tracing and cutting the pattern and fabric, and yesterday I attached the pocket to the inside lining, and divided it so I get a mobile pocket, as well as a larger one. I did the rest of it today, as Alex decided to get up at half past five, I thought I might as well get something interesting done. Everything went very smooth, until the very last seam, one of the handles, when all of a sudden the needle appeared to be hitting something whenever I tried to reverse, it was making an awful noise and eventually the needle broke. I changed it, of course, tried it on another piece of material, all was fine, so I went back to the handle, and it broke again! After a fair amount of faffing about, it started working fine again, I still don't know actually why it wouldn't work, maybe it was just a bit to thick and I somehow straightened it out in the end. Either way, you'd have thought that whilst spending all that time attaching the handle I would have had checked that it was on straight and wasn't twisted in the middle, wouldn't you? Well I hadn't. So I had to rip it up and start over again. That last 15 or so centimeter probably took me as long as the rest of the bag combined to complete, but in the end it got done, and I have already had some use out of it. I used it to carry home some groceries this afternoon, and it really holds an amazing amount of stuff. I will definitely be making more stuff from that book, there really are loads of really nice, and useful things, and it is easy to understand what you are suppose to be doing.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Oh, now it's been a little while since I wrote, but I blame my parents. They have been here for a week, and it's been lovely to see them. Alex has been spoilt rotten and is no doubt going to be a nightmare for the next week or so. But as they see each other so rarley I think it's ok.
Whilst waiting for mormor and morfar (that's swedish for grandmother and grandfather) I brought out some paints to entertain him. It produced some lovely paintings and this is the artist after the event:

Rather Gothic, don't you think? He's got a natural sense of style.

The day after my parents arrived I ran a 5km race at Clapham Common. It was the first out of 5 which are to take place between now and October. I got in on 47 minutes, which was pretty much as I had expected, and of course it leaves plenty of scope for improvement. The next one is on the 23rd May. My main goal is to run the entire race this time, as oppose to run/walking as I did now, and to get in on 45 min or less.

I have finished of the highet chart, I am only waiting for some ribbon I've ordered to hang it of, and I've decided to do the decorations by and by, as I want to hang it up and be able to use it as soon as possible.
I'm also starting to see some progress on my dress I am making at my sewing class. It's going really slowly, as I only got a couple of hours a week to work on it in class. I'll try to finish it of by easter, so I'll have some time for a smaller project the last bit of term.

At least now it is starting to look a bit like a garment, and not just like a collection of oddly shaped pices of fabric!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

It's oh so quiet...

I really haven' got a lot done on any of my projects recently. I do sometimes find it a bit difficult to fit in all the things I want to, or indeed should, do. I do try to get out for a run a few times a week, I got a 5km race on Sunday. I did manage to do about four km last night and I do feel rather good about that. I'm also in the process of taking a drivers license, and today I had my first lesson since before Tris was born. Also I've booked in for my theory test in four weeks time, so I'll have to spend some time studying for that- but I'm sure Alex and Tris will show great understanding for that and let me have an hour or so a day to study, Methinks not!
Anyway, enough excuses, I have at last tonight managed to get the last seams done on my height chart, and I've also decided on a burgundy coloured ribbon to use as the 'spine' of the chart, so it should be completed soon. I'll not bore you with a current picture off it, because, frankly it looks pretty much the same to the naked eye as it did last time. Just imagine a piece of ribbon going up the middle of it and you are there.
Instead I'll treat you to a picture of a sleeping Tristan:

Isn't he a particularly scrummy baby?
It's only us here now, the other two are upstairs. My big little boy, Alex, has not been his usual self today. He's picked up some kind of bug, so he's been sick most of the day. Hopefully he'll be alright tomorrow, but it has rather knackered the entire family I think. So now I'll try to get a pajamas on Tris without waking him up, and go to bed myself.

Friday, 26 February 2010


Yesterday was Alex's birthday, he turned three. We have had two birthday parties, one on Sunday gone, for all his friends, and on the day itself we had the family over, the English side of the family that is. It's the first year Alex has really been aware of it being his birthday, and being able to look forward to it so it was a bit special. It's funny though with all the planning and preparing and cleaning, and then it is all over in about two hours, it is all rather knackering. Here is a few pictures from the day:

Alex on his birthday scooter, with his birthday hat!

With the cake

After the party in his new Postman Pat pj's

I haven't really had a chance to work on their height chart, not least because most flat surfaces has been covered in chocolate cake recently, but I have got some work done on a flower fairy cross stitch I'm doing for my niece Poppy. No prices for guessing which flower fairy. I'm going to add her name and date of birth to it when it's done, like a birth record. But it is quite big and fiddly, so I'm hoping to have it done for her 1st birthday, in December! This is what I've done this far: