About Me

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Currently, I'm a stay-at-home mum to an inquisitive and often rambunctious three year old girl and her sunny little brother. In a former life, I was a lawyer. I know which I prefer. On the odd occasion that I get some downtime, I knit, crochet, read, sew, sing badly, dance even more so, enjoy a glass of wine and watch bad TV, sometimes in varying combinations of the foregoing and not necessarily in that order of preference.

Friday, 27 April 2012

The time just keeps on going

Another week, or rather, ten days, have passed me by in a bit of a blog-less blur.  I guess I'm a bit too busy living at the moment to talk to you about it.  My volunteering job is manic right now as we are busy organising our Spring Fair.  If you happen to be in Ealing on 19th May there will be some fun happenings to enjoy.  I'm also feeling thoroughly inspired on the sewing and knitting fronts and rather than methodically taking pictures of things so that I can share them and working carefully through one activity to completion, I'm flitting backwards and forwards amongst half a dozen different projects.

I'm so close to finishing a little sundress from Making Baby's Clothes (just need to figure out buttonholes and find some buttons - in fact, I'm only a moment of impatience away from just adding poppers and calling it good.  The only thing I need to do to show you the lovely little dress (Tutti-Frutti from the same book) I made her for our friends' wedding (which is already, unbelieveably, a month ago) is take some pics.  Maybe I can get that sorted over the weekend.  Especially if it really is drier as forecast.  I've also cut out and started sewing some cute trousers from the same book (I really love Rob Merrett's designs and instructions) in a very funky cow print that has to be seen to be believed (but as I bought a remnant and my Google-fu is failing me, I can't show you that until I take some pics either.

On a completely different sewing tack, I've planned a couple of easy baby projects thanks to the lovely Purl bee blog.  So, I have some terry cloth and gorgeous tana lawn lined up so that I can make a few of these fab Liberty bibs  and some more tana lawn and some organic bamboo & cotton fleece lined up to make a lighter version of this easy-peasy baby blanket.  Once my new walking foot arrives, these will all be winging their way across the pond to a very lovely little girl who has recently joined the world.  But this sewing mania (and the obsession with the Purl bee) was all sparked by these spring napkins which were mentioned in Mollie Makes a little while back.  I saw them, I loved them, I had to make some.  Which is why my sewing table is now piled with two bundles of fat quarters (one plain pastel, one bundle in the same colours but with white spots) and miles of white rick rack.  All I need is to find some spare hours in the day and, I discovered this evening when I sat down to do some work, some sewing machine oil.

I've also been buying patterns from Backstitch and Colette (at long last my Colette Sewing Handbook arrived from Amazon!) and generally drooling over the endless possibilities.  And I daren't even tell you about what's been going on in the yarn cupboard...

On that note, I'm off to find a glass of wine, an episode of Grey's Anatomy and to pick up that Siivet I've been working on.  Yep, no pics of that either.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Where did the last 6 weeks go?

I have absolutely no idea.  One minute I was blogging whilst cooking dinner and getting quite into everything, the next it was the middle of April.  It's all been a bit of a blur really.

Things were really starting to get on top of me the last time I wrote, and I couldn't really figure out why.  I think it is partly the fact that I have forgotten some of the techniques I used to use at work to keep myself straight.  Things like using my diary, and making lists, rather than trying to store everything in my head.  Things like prioritising, allocating time to particular tasks, breaking down the big jobs into smaller ones.  All that good stuff.  Carie reminded me with her tips on my last post.  I guess it seemed a bit over the top to approach my current life in the way I used to approach life as a solicitor, but actually, being a house-wife/stay-at-home mum is no less of a job than being a solicitor and involves just as much juggling and attempting to appease imperious foot-stamping children...  Especially when you take into account my voluntary job (which is proving way bigger than I imagined... or at least, it is that way I have been trying to do it so far - changes will be attempted on that front) and the fact that I really want to keep some sense of myself outside my role as home-maker and family caretaker.

So a fair chunk of the last few weeks has been spent trying (and largely failing, but hey-ho) to organise myself a bit better, trying to bring some discipline back into things, and trying to (a) bash through some of the backlog on my voluntary role and (b) figure out exactly how much time and energy I am prepared to devote to it and marshall my resources accordingly.

Then on the more fun side of things, there was that glorious weather in late March and the small matter of a trip to Somerset and Devon for the long overdue wedding of two good (but rarely seen) friends.  We might only have been away for three nights but boy did we cram a lot into that trip.

We broke the journey to Bampton, Devon down by stopping for pizza and then stopping for a run round Stonehenge.  I appreciate this may not be the traditional way to view this revered ancient monument but it was Baby Bird's preferred approach and all we could really do was try to keep up.

The next day involved a trip to Minehead to play on the beach, and
cream teas for all.  Clotted cream was, unsurprisingly, a big hit.

We then headed on for a nice pub lunch on Exmoor before spending the afternoon at Exmoor Zoo.  This is a fantastic little zoo and we are already planning to go back, as we didn't really have time to see everything.

We did get to watch the penguins being fed though, which was great fun.

The day was rounded off by a family trip to the Bampton Fish Bar, where Baby Bird was introduced to curry sauce and mushy peas (can you tell that one of her parents is from the further north than the other?).

It was all a bit much for some of us.

Saturday was, predictably, the only day that actually looked and felt like the end of March, so unfortunately, the wedding was somewhat chilly and overcast, a fact made all the more disappointing by the fact Saturday was flanked by two stunningly warm and sunny days.  Still, the wedding was lovely, the bride and groom looked fantastic, and Baby Bird was very well behaved for her first big occasion.

There will be more about this particular day later as I want to show you the dress that I made for her to wear, and I am very much hoping that the photographer will have got a good shot or two of her since we failed miserably.

Sunday we packed up and headed home, after running off a bit of steam in the nearest park, stopping off for the obligatory Little Chef lunch.  I don't know about you, but Little Chef features strongly in my memories of childhood trips and I wanted to get Baby Bird off on the right foot.

Spaghetti & meatballs wasn't on the menu back in the day, nor was the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast that I had, but the pancakes that we all shared for dessert most definitely were and it was a jolly way to finish our hols.  People screw their noses up at Little Chef and places like that.  I say it's horses for courses: as a family-friendly spot for a bite to eat on a long journey up the A303, this was perfect.  We didn't want or need fine dining; we needed clean, easy and providing crayons.  Job done.

Easter was altogether quieter as all three of us managed to get sick (to varying degrees) over the course of the week either side of the holiday.  However, that did give me some time to do a spot of knitting and also some sewing.  I'm looking forward to showing you what I've been up to.