Hectic weeks

This week has been hectic.  Some weeks are normal and everything flows nicely, others you juggle events and appointments for everyday and try to avoid double booking yourself.  This week has been one of the later.

However I did finish one of the pouches I started last week.

Nail Pouch 1

This one is for Sweetpea to use for nail polishes etc.  I think she likes it as it disappeared before I could take a picture.  I had to retrieve it from a drawer to take these.

I have also been working on my checkerboard quilt.

blocks sewn

I have sewn 20 blocks.

Strips left to sew

Only 16 left to go.

My treat yesterday, a Christmas present from my mom, was a ticket to Sewing for Pleasure.  We had a lovely day, unfortunately missing the sunshine, but you can’t win them all.

SFP 2016 goodies bought

I was quite restrained with my spending and only buying things I need or have specific plans for.

Must dash, need to add syrup to a cake that we need for Sunday.

Have a good weekend.

Fiona

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Summer Holidays Week 1…

The kids were exhausted, so low key activities were planned, plus after a busy weekend I was tired.  Even when tired I find my kids need things to do or the bickering starts and that totally does my head in.

They rediscovered games (no electronic gadgets), like dominos, lego, playing café and made up games in the garden.

I have no idea what they are doing here!

garden games

I did manage some sewing and finished off my beach bag.  I can’t wait to take it to the beach!  Now all I need is for the British weather to play ball and its not that brilliant at the moment.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that it improves for when we are away.

Finished beach bag

I do have WIPs (which I got out the cupboard) but I have started some EPP.  I have wanted to do some for ages and as normal I having been mulling what to do and where to start.  Faffing as my OH calls it.

I came across this book at the library and have followed some advise and started on some diamond stars.  No pics yet, will take some later.  I thought that an EPP would be good as a portable project for the summer.

I did get a large WIP out of the cupboard, a sampler quilt I started 2 years ago.  The top is done (will find the pics), but it was a quilt as you go which I had not done before.  I was having to go against my instincts and follow the instructions for each section.  Plus life happened, I think it was chicken pox, and it got tidied away.  Out of sight, so out of mind, well sort of.  I have been reminding myself of where I got to.  So we shall see, not sure I have fallen out of love with it…

It felt like a short week for me as the OH and I went to Stratford to the RSC, and the munchkins stayed at Grandma’s overnight.  It was lovely to have 2 days with the OH and do adult things.  We went to see Othello which was fantastic and I would highly recommend it.  Going to the RSC in Stratford is fantastic in itself.  We have been before and it is a lovely town to visit and wander around.  I did leave my camera at home, so sorry no picture overload.  If you do visit, try and do the tour of the theatre itself, you get to go backstage, hear its secrets and inside stories about previous productions.  Its a great insight to the world of the RSC.

I did do some sewing orientated shopping while in Stratford.  It was here and I was very good and did not buy any fabric.  Well I was with the OH and we don’t want him to fully understand the costs of my sewing hobby.  That may not work in my favour.  Pictures to follow, as one item is a present, so I will reveal after the fact.

And I did buy these during the week, well there was a sale and it seemed rude not to.

beautiful fabric

Sunday was a wind down day for all as the munchkins had been to Crocodile World the day before.  We were all tired so OH felt cake was needed so he made banana bread.

banana bread

Then there was building of Mousetrap and much giggling followed.  And that was before we started the game!  How long does it take you to build mousetrap?  Getting the traps to work was a fiddle, but we got there in the end.  It was a good thing we had cake though!

I thought we had a quiet week, but writing this, I am not so sure.

How is your summer unfolding?

Take care

Fiona

End of term…

End of term means lots of things for many parents but there is usually the question, what presents to get for the teachers?  On a basic level there is the issue that they, teachers, are doing their jobs, so why give them a present?  I do know some parents who on principle don’t give anything other than making a point of saying thank you.  And depending on your experience of the year, this may be appropriate.  I have however have been fairly lucky with the teachers that my children have had, so feel that I want to show my appreciation for their time and hard work.

Teacher presents 2015

I made a collection of medium sized purses for the teachers and the teaching assistants that taught my children this year.  My children helped choose the fabrics for each teacher, so each purse is unique.

I have managed to squeeze some sewing time in for me.  I re-borrowed this book from the library as I really wanted to make the beach tote from it.

My fabric choices are a blue stripe with red trim on the pockets, the main body of the bag is denim with red lining.  The trim for the bag edging is in the blue stripe.

Top edge binding

I want to add a tab with a lobster clasp for keys, so they don’t disappear into the bag.  Its large so lovely and roomy for everything needed on a trip to the beach.

Bag tabs

I can’t decide whether to use the same cotton strapping as on the body of the bag, or a piece of the red binding as the lining and the pocket trim.  What do you think?  Do I go for the contrast (strapping) or blend (red binding)?

Its almost done, just need to sew the bias edging on and reinforce the straps onto the bag.

beach bag

I am really pleased with my fabric choices.

I think the bag is coming together really well and I am looking forward to finishing it.  Then the best bit – taking it to the beach!

I am trying a new system with projects, keeping them in a project box with all the bits needed to complete them.  Hopefully this will help.  So when I have a few minutes, I can do a bit of sewing and make progress without having to search for everything I need before starting.

project box

I got the idea from this book.  You may have seen it around.  I love all the practical advise given in it and the projects…. OMG….  I can’t wait to try them.  Heidi Staples, the author, has a fantastic website full of inspiration, colour and life.  Go and take a peek, its great!

I am being good about finishing something before starting something new, but my new book has just added a whole new pile of projects onto my ever growing list though.  However it has helped me find my sewing mojo again so I am not panicking, just excited and can’t wait to start!

The summer holidays are in full swing here and we kicked them off with a bang, literally loud ones – very loud bangs, by a visit to RIAT 2015 this weekend.  When I have been through the picks I will post the best and most interesting.

What did you do last weekend?

Take care and talk soon.

Fiona

Mid Feb…

This time of year can be very Jekyll and Hyde with the weather, don’t you think?  One minute grey, with fine drizzle, then down pours the next, changing to brilliant blue skies and sunshine!  That’s the weather for you in the UK.  Its true, you can have all four seasons in one day.  It does make planning for half-term activities a challenge.  You constantly have to have a back-up plan.

My kids were supposed to go to a karate course for the week, during the mornings, to use some of their energy doing whatever it is they do in Karate!  This went by the by when it all got cancelled at the last moment.  Not the organisers fault, these things happen, but backup plans had to be evoked.  This also meant kids and normal jobs had to be done together, which any mother will now pull a face and nod her head, do not go together well.  Especially when they had previously told they wouldn’t have to.

The only way to go is – with bribery!

So our week was a mixture of visits to the library (not really a hardship), the toy shop to spend their pocket money, visits with cousins and grandparents and time at home just being.

We did manage a quick visit to a local Eco Park that is opening soon.

Goat at Eco Park Feb 2015

Cockerals at Eco Park Feb 2015

We met these characters.  The goat was VERY food orientated, to the extent of eating the paper bag that a little boy was holding.  The cockerels all stood in a line to give us a chorus.  They were fantastic, but I am glad that they don’t live next door to me!

The site is still being finished off so there was little for my two to do, but for under 5’s, there is a great indoor play area.  The larger, outdoor playground has a lovely looking climbing frame, which my two were very keen to try out.  But as the diggers were still levelling the surrounding ground, I thought it best that we return another day.

It was lovely to have the chance of catching up with family and friends, but there was not so much on the crafting front.  I have though managed to finish my socks!

My first pair of socks!

They are lovely and warm and I am feeling quite smug, sitting here, writing this wearing them.  I finally understand the madness and addiction to knitting socks.  I want another pair.  In another colour, any colour, I don’t care.

Stripes lined up.

I didn’t manage to line up my stripes and make them identical.

I know it can be done by pulling through the yarn and finding the pattern repeat on it, so you can start in the same place.  This does make me think a bit of stuffing cherry tomatoes.  If I was giving a pair as a gift, then I would probably, maybe, make them identical, but as they are inside my boots the rest of the time….  No-one else knows and I can live with that, particularly as my feet are nice and toasty inside said boots.

Despite pondering the next ball of sock wool to buy and put in my stash, I am being good and working on a WIP. My Happy top is short sleeved in a 4 ply for the summer.  I started this on holiday two summers ago and as we booked our summer holiday this week, I realised that this “top” has been to the Isle of Wight twice!  It should really be finished so it can be worn there, instead of hiding in a project bag.  Does everyone have well travelled WIPS?

The other reason there has been a lack of crafting this week, was the discovery that Sweetpea has been tidying her room by scooping everything up and dumping it into her wardrobe!  Breathe holding was done, by me, to prevent rude words being issued at this discovery.  Several deep breathes later, we discussed the situation and found she has too much stuff for the space allocated to storing it, nor is she sure where to put some of it.  So sorting, re-organising and recycling the contents of her room started.  Yes started, I haven’t finished yet!  Now she is back at school, it falls to me to finish up.  Isn’t that the way?  Some things went in the bin and others are going to new homes.  The rest need new storage solutions, so a cup of tea and a legitimate chance to look through pinterest!  This has resulted in a trip to Ikea yesterday.  So now I off to build a Kallax unit.  Wish me luck!

What are you doing this week?

Building or crafting?

Fiona

Exploring…

This week we met up with some friends at Upton House and Gardens.  It is a National Trust property in Warwickshire.  Its not far for us and we find it big enough but small enough.  If that makes any sense.  You get to feel that you could be part of the famous five, but not so far from the car park that your arms are dropping off with everything.

The gardens are lovely.

PENTAX ImageThis is the back lawn!

Here is the vegetable garden.

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There are winding pathways to follow, woods and an orchard to explore and stairs like these.

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There is also a large pond to walk round.

PENTAX ImageMy kids like the woodland trail near the café.  We ate our ice-creams as we wandered through spotting the resident creatures.  Lovely end to a lovely day.

We are off on holiday this weekend so no posts next week.  Sorry.

I went to my knitting group on Thurs evening with the idea to try and find a shawl or large scarf pattern to use with my new yarn I got at Fibre East.  I have gone round in circles and I’m not 100% sure if I’m happy with my choices, so we will see.

However, I did find this book and decided that instead of a magazine I would take this on holiday.

PENTAX Image

I have added several balls of wool to one of the suitcases.

Well need to make lunch for tomorrow and paint my toes.

A girl needs holiday toes!

Take care and talk soon

Fiona

Sorry – computer malfunction that this did not post at the beginning of Aug.

Red Arrows!!!!

For a short week, it went really fast with lots of activities and sorry didn’t get a chance to chat.  I’ll give you a catch up.

Wednesday was our first day of the holidays and I was determined this year to wash, fold, iron and put all uniform away.

Job done!

I also managed to buy all the new items that are needed.  I have never, and I mean never, managed to do this in one go. It does mean that I have quite a bit of hand sewing to do now.  I am a bit compulsive about the name labels, even down to one in each sock.

I know its mad, but my son would lose his head if it wasn’t attached.

Thursday we were invited to a families fun day.  We set off with a couple of cousins, thinking we were going for a couple of hours and my two would be going to their swimming lessons at 5pm.  Little did we know.

However when the fun day is hosted by the RAF they have quite a few interesting things to provide entertainment.

It was a full on air show!

Dr S and his cousins were in 7th heaven.  Sweetpea not so much, but she enjoyed playing with her cousins and dancing to the music between displays.

So the highlight was to see the following.

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The Red Arrows were amazing and truly are the best of the best.

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This is their concorde formation.

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All eyes were glued.

We also got to see the RAF Falcons, who are the parachute display team.

This is them forming their stack.

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There was a whole day of displays with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, loads of other planes and jets, helicopter demonstrations and Chinooks doing things that really should not be possible by an aircraft of its size.

Sorry no pics, my jaw had dropped too much.  Picture a skateboard in a skate park, going up and down the ramps and jumps, with twists and turns.  That’s basically what the pilots of the Chinook did.  Even down to landing on the back wheels only, reversing and taking off backwards.  I wish I had pics, but I was just so gobsmacked.  Truly in awe.

So we missed swimming lessons.  There was no way I was going to get Dr S out of there before they threw us out.

Friday was therefore a lot lower key, with a picnic with friends in a local park.

The weekend went quickly with birthday parties and more Fun Days locally and I got an impromptu day out on Sunday.

Where did I go?

I went to Fibre East!

Not knowing what to expect, two knitting friends and I thought we would go for the morning.  Oh the goodies.  The wool, their colours, they were amazing.  We were like kids in a sweet shop.

Not expecting the fabulous amount of woolie goodness that we found, I didn’t take my camera.  Sorry.  I know a big blogging faux pa. I am realising that I need to become surgically attached to my camera, so nothing is missed.  Sorry will do better.  (Head is bowed in shame).

This is what I bought

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The bluey-green one is 80% baby alpaca 20% Silk lace weight and the hand-painted yarn is 50% baby camel 50% silk 2 ply.

I have no real plan of what to do with them, but maybe a shawl with at least one.

I really should finish some WIPs before I start something else.  Really should, but these new yarns are calling to me.  They are so soft and tactile its amazing.

What new projects are you trying to justify?  And have you finished the WIPs or turned a blind eye?

Take care

Fiona