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.

Sunday, 9 March 2014


The sun has been shining this week and it has made a big difference. The mornings are now getting lighter and the evenings feel positively glorious despite it still being two weeks until the clocks change. It feels like spring is here and my mood is lifting along with the clouds and rain. 

We spent the first couple of days of the week visiting some friends who left London at the end of last year. I was sad to see them go, particularly as it is fairly rare to find another family where the kids gets on as well as the parents. We had a huge amount of fun.  One of the highlights was definitely blowing bubbles on the deck in their garden.
I just adore the expression on her face here. 

The rest of the week was less good as Birdie has been poorly. It's a non-descript kind of poorly characterised by a cough and large amounts of grumpy and poor behaviour so there isn't much we can do except ride it out. I confess my patience is wearing thin. I'm aiming to get some me time this weekend in the hopes it gives me more energy and compassion for dealing with her.  I'm feeling rather tapped out at the moment. 

But, despite being poorly, we've still managed to get out to the park for a run around in the sunshine most afternoons. I find it is the only cure for the screaming that seems to set in after the post-lunch lull (for all parties). As you can see, the sunshine fixes everything. 

A portrait of my children: one a week, every week, for one year. 

My contribution to the beautiful 52 project, hosted by Jodi at Practising Simplicity. Her photography is infinitely more beautiful than mine and there are many fabulous photographers sharing their moments through this project. Do drop by and check out the linky in all it's glory. 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Preparation is key

I've been watching the Great British Sewing Bee and it has really got me itching to get back to the sewing machine.  I've been flicking through my patterns and books, reading blogs and wondering what to make.  I've even been pondering my wardrobe thanks to Sarai's thoughtful posts about building your look over at The Coletterie.  There's lots of ideas brewing and the fabric stash has been well-thumbed recently.

But I've also been doing shopping.  I mentioned the other week that I'm probably a better collector than user of sewing materials and the collection has grown again since that post (despite all those projects remaining unsewn...). However, there is a plan.

You see, the thing I'm hankering after the most is Coco.  My friend Julia is planning one and I've been enjoying reading the sew-a-long over at Tilly & the Buttons, and for once it is a project that would actually enhance and fit in with my regular wardrobe and so should get a lot of wear.  It will be my first foray into knit fabrics (ironic for a knitter?) so I am planning carefully and thinking about things.  Tilly did a great introduction on her blog, particularly useful for those of us who don't have, and can't afford/justify the expense of, an overlocker, and I was very excited to read this post from Sarai at The Coletterie as I love her Sewing Handbook.  I've been thumbing my sewing books and learning.  As I don't get much time to sew, I therefore want to make the most of it and, for me, that means making sure I do the best job that I can.

So far, I have thought a lot about fabric and actually only bought about 10% of what I liked (progress!).  I have thought a lot about needles, thread and notions, dug out the walking foot for my machine, ordered ballpoint needles and found my double needle should I wish to add some topstitching.  I have come up with about a dozen different riffs on the pattern in my head and even remembered to write some of them down before I forget them (progress).  And now I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the pattern, some fabric and some bits and pieces.  But the fabric for the first one that I want to make arrived this morning and so I am doing some preparation.

Yes, I'm actually prewashing my fabric before I sew it for the first time ever.  I can see Julia's eye roll from here.  It looks much like the eye roll she gives me when I make a tension square before starting a jumper. Still, I am glad I did it and I will live with the mockery because, much like tensions squares, this annoyingly time-consuming precursor to starting a project can really save you a lot of time and heartache down the road.  I took the opportunity to also wash the fabric for the kids' Quick Change Trousers (from Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner) and the flannel came out about two inches narrower and an inch shorter than it went in, despite being done on a 30 degree wash.  If that had happened to finished trousers, I'd probably have cried. After all, double-layer trousers where one layer shrinks and the other doesn't do not exactly sound like a recipe for success.

It just shows that, much like tension squares, all these random and seemingly fussy steps before you actually get started really are worthwhile.  It also got me thinking that maybe I approach them wrong.  Maybe I should look at all this planning, thinking and preparing not as a series of hurdles to be overcome before I can get started but as what they really are: the first steps of the project.  That shift of emphasis makes it all feel much more positive, exciting and constructive.  There's obviously a fine line between planning and procrastinaton and definitely a place for the mantra "progress not perfection" here too, but I've been cutting corners recently with lots of things (including with the knitting of tension squares and it hasn't really paid off as I've had a few slightly wonky shaped results). I'm starting to think it is not really helping.  The half-completed and shoddily executed abound.  That coupled with general mess and disarray are really starting to get me down.  I think it's time to go back to "less haste, more speed" and trying to plan and prepare properly. It might mean I get less done but hopefully I will be happier with the results.

In other news, if you want a recipe for success, look no further than these delicious cookies - we made them this morning while Granddad was fixing my DIY disasters, using a mixture of white and dark chocolate chips for a bit of variety. Yum.

Perfect for eating while you wash perfectly clean bits of fabric, instead of the mountains of dirt towels and sheets you should be washing, and contemplating sewing.

8/52 and 9/52

Oops, what happened there?  I fell into a bit of a black hole on the blogging front.  Just not enough energy left over at the end of the day string together my thoughts (and yes, I do actually try to make this stuff coherent, despite all appearances to the contrary!).  A couple of weeks slipped by without me even noticing.

So here, very briefly, are weeks 8 and 9 in my 52 project.

Week 8 - a.k.a the week of the big birthday party

 and here is the birthday boy enjoying his cake. That is actually a carrot cupcake with cream cheese frosting from the rather lovely Cooking for Baby by Lisa Barnes.  
It's a little tricky to find this book sometimes but well worth it.  There's lots of recipes that translate really well to adult food and Lisa adds more flavour to her dishes than the ubiquitous Annabel Karmel.  Also, being an American book it offers a slightly different range of veg and grains than you might find in other books, encouraging you to branch out a bit more.  The cakes in the final chapter are all delicious and the carrot cupcakes and cranberry and orange scones both make regular appearances in our kitchen. The full birthday party menu will hopefully feature in its own post along with some snaps later in the week.
Birdie meanwhile spent a lot of that week making Splatterflies - more on those later.

Week 9
I don't remember much of what we got up to that week, save that the week culminated with Hubby's birthday.  This involved a Friday night pre-bathtime present wrapping frenzy that saw the boy wrapped up in large amounts of wrapping paper and slightly more sticky tape than is ideal by his very enthusiastic sister, a lengthy search to find where Birdie had hidden Daddy's presents, a lovely meal out with friends, much hilarity on my part, and pain on Hubby's, due to the combination of Hubby's massive birthday hangover and Birdie's massive enthusiasm for it being Daddy's birthday, a very tasty brunch of buttermilk pancakes, bacon and maple syrup that did not really receive the reception it deserved from the rest of Team Collett, a much needed trip to the park for some sunshine and fresh air and a very tasty fish & chip supper at Kerbisher & Malt to round off proceedings.  The birthday boy seemed suitably impressed once his hangover had subsided and declared 36 to be not as bad as he expected.  Here's hoping.

So, pictures wise, we have Birdie showing off her ever-growing climbing prowess in the park.  She's now mastered virtually every piece of equipment in Ealing that she's physically big enough to tackle (and a couple that she probably isn't).   
And not to be outdone on the climbing front, Mr Man go stuck in to climbing the stairs.  He's been able to for a while but has suddenly shown increased enthusiasm for them and shins up at top speed the moment the living room door is opened.   
There is no hope for us.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

Sometimes the only way a girl can cope with a trip to the supermarket is by putting on her shades, even though it's grey and rainy, and munching on a biscuit.

Yep, another ordinary moment here in West London. 

This post is my contribution to a lovely project started by Katie over at Mummy Daddy Me.  Do head over to see what she's been up to.  She takes beautiful photographs and writes wonderfully too.  This week's Ordinary Moments post is particularly heart melting and contains such with which I can relate. Just beautiful. 

Monday, 17 February 2014


There was really only one event last week: Mr Man's birthday!  I'm not quite sure how a year can possibly have passed since he was born but the calendar assures me it has, so I guess I have to accept that my baby is now heading rapidly towards toddlerhood.

Festivities were immense, making it difficult to choose pictures this week. In the end I opted for Birdie proudly displaying the peanut butter cookies that she baked

and the birthday boy trying out the bell on his new trike. 

Happy days.

This is my contribution to the 52 project - do head over to the lovely Practising Simplicity blog written by Jodi, who takes fantastic photographs and will show you how this project really should be done. You can also take a look at all the wonderful links to other bloggers who take beautiful pictures of their kids.

Hanging out the bunting

It all started like this:

A little bit of crafty fun to decorate the church hall where we held Birdie's 3rd birthday party.  A big pile of felt, a pair of pinking shears, a little embroidery floss and some ribbon.  It took an evening and I had three lovely long strings of pretty bunting.  The perfect quick project.

Then I added a big pile of sticky felt flowers and some glue and sequins...

and a small and very enthusiastic little girl, keen to decorate her bunting.

The party was a big hit and the bunting looked great.

I packed it away for next year.

Then we had Christmas bunting, with the enthusiastic little girl and her best friend going nuts with the glitter glue and pom-poms to make some beautiful little Christmas trees, just perfect for stringing along a crochet chain.  We were on a roll.  The requests to "decorate more bunting" were daily.  The pile of felt, which Hubby had insisted was far too large when it first arrived, and the supplies of glitter glue and sequins diminished.

Then we hit upon the idea of using the bunting to decorate Birdie's bedroom

and suddenly there were requests for more bunting, in ever more intricate shapes.

Then it occurred to me that Mr Man needed some birthday bunting for his party, since the original birthday bunting was a little girlie and had been co-opted as bedroom bunting.  So out came the felt and the floss to make some rainbow bunting.
I realised at this point that I'd actually used up all the rolls of ribbon that Hubby had declared would be a lifetime's supply and needed to buy more!  I wondered if this was a warning that enough bunting had been made, but dismissed this in favour of the much more likely answer that not enough ribbon had, in fact, been purchased after all.

Before I knew where I was, I was buying fat quarters to make dinosaur bunting, on the grounds that it would be perfect for a boy's party and, well, it could always be used to decorate his bedroom after the party (if you ignore the lack of dinosaurs in the African savannah that is the safari-themed nursery)... As I sit at my sewing machine, I feel we have come a very long way from some pinking shears and spot of very easy hand-sewing. I suspect this way madness lies.  A small voice in the back of my head, that I ought to know better than to listen to, whispers "or business opportunity".

Yes, definitely this way madness lies.

Friday, 14 February 2014

{this moment}

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

The Day After

Yesterday was anything but ordinary.  Yesterday was Mr Man's first birthday!  I cannot believe how quickly the last year has gone, or how quickly they change and leave their newborn days behind them.  He looks more and more like a little boy now and Hubby keeps making ominous remarks about a haircut.  The words "Over my dead...." may have been muttered darkly in response.

We had a lovely time yesterday, opening presents from Mummy, Daddy and Birdie; singing "Happy Birthday" at every possible opportunity; taking the new tricycle to the park; eating cake; and having chips at the pub for tea. Mummy and Daddy even finished the day toasting our beautiful boy with a glass or two of champagne after the kids were safely tucked up in bed.

It was a wonderful, exciting and happy day and I have tons of photos that I could share.  However, none of them were "ordinary" moments in the sense I'm trying to capture.  They were special and worth capturing but I'd rather share pictures of the kids "just being". I won't struggle to remember Mr Man's first birthday, whether I blog about it or not as the landmark events stay fairly clear. But the day after, when my daughter announced that she couldn't wear clothes because she was a mermaid (a mermaid who, the eagle-eyed amongst you will note, can wear shoes), when she tried to take off her brother's pyjamas ("because he wants to get dressed and I'm helping him") and when she carefully arranged everyone so that they could watch Mike the Knight together (apparently inflatable rabbits are big fans) before trying to get her brother to compete in a hopping race on the rabbits even though he can't yet walk. 

That's the kind of day I need to capture for the Ordinary Moments. That's the kind of crazy but totally normal if you're a toddler day that I need to capture because, for all it feels like some kind it belongs in some kind of parallel universe, it is in fact a regular and entirely average day in my world right now.  As such, there will be hundreds more like them and they will all blur and fade.  In fact, often, by the end of the week, I'm talking to someone and I start a story with "Birdie did the most hilarious thing the other day.  She was... What was she doing?  She was...  Well, she said....  Oh, I don't remember... But it was very funny" before looking awkardly at the table and wondering whether I can have more coffee.

So, my lovely little man's birthday is not the moment I'm recording this week. The day after however, could not have been more ordinary if it had tried.


Six weeks in to the 52 project, and I'm really enjoying it.  It's reminding me to document what we're doing; I'm starting to think more about the pictures I take when I do it (although I don't think that shows yet) and I find looking at all the other wonderful pictures being shared very inspiring. I love looking at the craft in the photographs and also find the activities depicted are often a source of inspiration for what we can do as well.

I don't normally struggle for a pic of the boy - narrowing down the choice is normally the hard part, and there's usually two or three standout pics to choose from (well, standout by my lowly snapper standards, nothing troubling David Bailey, obviously). This week however offered pretty slim pickings.  Mr Man caught a nasty tummy bug in the middle of the week and was poorly for the rest of the week.  He looked actually green on Wednesday night and then looked pale and off-colour, acquiring a strange bluish tinge around the eyes and nose.  Not good.  He also wasn't really doing much other than having cuddles and feeling sorry for himself.  Understandably so, but they didn't really feel like moments i wanted to capture "on film" (you know what I mean, I'm from the dark ages, all photos are "film" to me, even though I haven't used a film camera for almost ten years).

So, when I came to review the pics from last week, there was only one set of pics of Mr Man and only one pic within that set worth sharing. Here he is looking pale but due to the wonderful skin-enhancing effects of smothering your face in yoghurt:

Birdie in the other hand was much easier this week.  I'd got some great shots of her playing at home and out and about, but there was really only one shot to sum up my fearless little warrior last week:

Much to her dad's concern/upset, we spent Friday afternoon in the park learning how to climb down the rope. He is not a fan, particularly of how far away I stand while she's doing it.  I say she needs to learn this stuff and she needs to learn how to do it safely. I'm also hoping that getting to climb all over the place in the park will burn off some energy and reduce her almost obsessive need to climb on all the furniture at home.  Well, I can dream can't I?

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Planning, being naughty and the dangers of Internet shopping

Sometimes I fear I'm not so much a crafter as a collector.  I collect craft supplies. How else to explain the piles of yarn, fabric, paper, notions burgeoning in every spare corner (and quite a few not so spare areas too)?  I have more than I can possibly use, and yet more keep appearing.

I've been this way since I was a child, when the lure of the bookshop and the stationers first took hold and my pocket money would be converted into paper (reading books, notebooks, drawing pads, sugar paper, coloured card, writing paper) and endless sets of colouring pencils, water colour paints and pastels. I still have a big box of supplies upstairs. The paints probably need to be given up for dead but the pastels sit there, waiting for small hands to be slightly less small so that I can gift them on.  And I have more writing paper than a person who barely manages to send thank you notes (and shamefully didn't manage to do that for her son's birth or christening, or her daughter's birthday, last year) can possibly need.  And yet still I linger over art supplies and coloured pens and have to fight the urge to buy them whenever I see them.

The only things that have changed since then are my interests have diversified, so wool, fabric and all manner of shiny accessories have been added to the list of items coveted and purchased, and my bank balance has increased, making the acquisition of these items ever easier.  And then we come to Internet shopping. 

Ah, Internet shopping.  My friend, my enemy, my guilty pleasure, my downfall.  I love Internet shopping.  Many happy hours are spent browsing and buying all manner of bits and bobs.  It is so easy.  So quick.  It comes with the pleasure of the postman delivering parcels.  I've always loved receiving parcels. It is the perfect antidote to a hard day with the kids.  It is so much less stressful than packing up the kids and taking them with me to the shops.  And the kinds of shop that struggle on the high street these days (or maybe never really existed on the high street) like button shops, felt shops, ribbon shops and more can flourish online as women (and probably some men, but I suspect mostly women) like me sit down with a glass of Chablis after getting the kids to bed and daydream about all the things they will make in the free time that the wine and the pretty pictures on the screen temporarily makes then forget they don't have.  

The lure of online shopping intersects with my enthusiasm for planning, resulting in many happy hours organising an ever-growing and unlikely to be completed list of things to make and do.  And therein lies the problem.  If I actually had to leave the house and go to a real shop, most of my ideas would stay just that.  They would never leave the planning stage and that would be fine, because you can't get in much of a mess just daydreaming about stuff and you can still wile away many happy hours thinking and planning for when you finally get a chance to go shopping but you don't actually have to come good on any of these these grand ideas.  You cant really get yourself in any trouble.  Then in steps the internet and you get all carried away.  You promise that you won't.  Not this time.  You've learnt your lesson (yes, I'm staring accusingly at you, 12 plastic tubs containing yarn that is yet to be knit up).  But you have a really great idea for using some of the stash up and you only need a couple of extra bits to make it work... And, well a few fat quarters for bunting for your son's first birthday can't do much harm... Oh my, aren't those animal prints gorgeous? Robert Kaufman does such pretty prints.  They'd make a perfect quilt for the safari themed nursery and, well, you never redecorated when you had the second baby and so he's been a bit left out while your daughter had curtains and cushion covers made for her before she was born and has received blankets (including that epic log cabin that you spent three maybe even four months knitting) and had her whole room redecorated not long ago so, really, he deserves a quilt.  

And before you know it, you've emailed the fabric shop for help selecting colours to complement the prints and have ordered enough fabric to make two pairs of trousers for the kids, a dress for your daughter, bunting and a quilt.  All of which you are going to do in your non-existent spare time.

Friday, 7 February 2014

{this moment}

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon

But it involved anything but lazing.  Hubby and I have always been fond of getting out for a walk on a sunny afternoon, especially a cold wintry one. In fact, it doesn't even need to be sunny so I suppose in some ways we were made to have kids - we head out and about in all but the wettest of weather and are big believers in the mantra "There's no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing choices".  So, it isn't really that much of a hardship (or a surprise) that our firstborn is a hardy soul who seems happiest outside.

This Sunday was brisk but sunny so we bundled up and headed out after lunch.
The stick had already been gathered on a previous excursion and transformed into a "magic staff" so this is actually how we departed the house rather than how we returned.  We didn't go far, just to the park about a mile down the road, but it was a journey that necessitated much "checking your map, Mama", involved us being chased by Tick Tock Croc and included an interesting conversation about who we like best: "Daddy or mermaids". Quite an expedition, even by Birdie's creative standards.

The playground we went to is probably Birdie's favourite of the local parks and is certainly my husband's favourite. It has a good mix of stuff for climbing, allowing our little monkey to really get stuck in, and traditional playground equipment, with plenty of things the little man can try out too.  We had a blast. Swings were swung on, ropes were climbed, fireman's poles were slid down, logs were balanced on, the great big treehouse thing was scaled again and again in ever more ingenious and hair-raising ways, and most magically of all, my children played together.

There was nothing fancy or unusual about our afternoon.  It was exceptionally ordinary. Precisely why I want to remember it.  Four people enjoying each other's company and a (currently all-to-rare) sunny afternoon. It also feels like it marks the end of a chapter; the start of Mr Man's shift from babyhood to toddlerhood; from sitting in the buggy watching to being in the thick of it; from laughing at his sister spinning like a crazy thing to being the crazy thing doing the spinning.  I still have plenty of times and places where he is my baby, but the park is, most definitely, not one of them any more.

Monday, 3 February 2014


After the previous week was so awful, I made a conscious effort to regroup last week.  I tried hard to be gentler, particularly with Birdie ("I'm not a baby, Mama, I'm a big girl"), but also with myself.  I made an effort to have more fun with the kids, to try to connect with them, and to listen more to what Birdie was saying with her behaviour as well as with her words.

We did a bunch of stuff, mostly at home due to the truly vile weather but we also managed a couple of lovely, mostly sunny, days out in the fresh air which I think helped all of us to feel better.  I won't pretend it was all fun and larks but it was definitely an improvement and it showed when I came to choose snaps for the 52 project. I had loads of each kid and a fair few of the two of them having fun together.  It was pretty hard to choose.

In the end, it had to be Bathtime Baby

and Bouncing Birdie (apologies for the quality of this one, it's really hard to take a clear shot of a small girl on a bouncy castle on an iPhone, but I chose it for the energy in the picture and the happiness on her face rather than the quality of the picture; also, yes, that is a Hallowe'en costume she is wearing at a friend's February birthday party...)

Thursday, 30 January 2014


I am late with this week's 52 project contribution and it is not a terribly well thought out contribution either.

We had a bad week.  Not an earth-shattering, awful things happening kind of a week.  Just a nothing ealing quite right, everything proving harder than it ought, everyone being grumpy, out of sorts and difficult kind of a week.  Every day was a grind.  Every day involved difficult behaviour from one or both kids.  Every day demanded more of everything than I actually had to offer.  Every day was shoutier than I hoped and by the weekend we were all pretty miserable.  No amount of DVDs and cuddles, or walks in the park, or biscuit baking, seemed able to improve things.

And, while I'm sure there must have been good moments (because, as I say, nothing objectively awful happened last week and there's always fun moments to lighten the gloom), I can't for the life of me remember what they were and, I discovered when I reviewed my phone for pictures for the 52 project, I didn't photograph any of them.

So this week's contribution will win no prizes at all.  It is, in fact, the only photos I took last week.  I toyed with taking some pictures on Monday when I was having a much better day and when I realised that I hadn't got any decent pics from last week (after all, only I know when they were taken) but that wouldn't be honest and wouldn't be in the spirit of the game.  Plus, I rather think there is a lesson here.

So, we have Mr Man sitting in a tricycle at playgroup (he looks a little uncertain but it is mostly because I stopped pushing him to take the pic and so he is shouting at me to carry on)

And Baby Bird at the top of a very large slide designed for far older children than her but that she scales with the ease of a monkey.

Monday, 20 January 2014


Here's my contribution to the 52 project this week.  Separate pics of the kids this time.

Mr Man, refusing to go to bed and insisting he is really having far too much fun to sleep.

And Baby Bird where she is happiest, outside running around but most especially, at the top of the slide.

Next week I'm going to try and get the proper camera out (assuming I can find the battery charger...)

A birthday blanket and a birthday jumper

I haven't done much knitting since Mr Man made his appearance, now frighteningly close to a year ago. Well, I say that, but then I had a look at what I did last year.  Given I only got my evenings back from my stay-awake older child some time around November and the little one still wakes me nightly, and, even before Baby Bird dropped her nap, I never managed to get them asleep at the same time during the day, I suppose I haven't done too badly. 

What I knit last year:

Before Mr Man arrived I had a veritable knitting frenzy ):

Two Milo vests (one for each child)

A hat for Baby Bird

I finished a baby-grow for the new bub

I dashed off a lovely little jacket just before he arrived

A cardigan that I gave a skater-ish look to but which disappointingly went from slightly garish but very cute into far more sophisticated than either the knitter or the recipient intended after a wash

Yes, that would be the first 6 weeks of the year (that will be three mornings a week in playschool plus a child who napped for two hours in the afternoon!)

After Mr Man arrived, things slowed down considerably, but I also opted for some long, garter-stitch heavy projects, which skews things a little.  Deliciously easy, but relatively time-consuming knits.

A beautiful Color Affection shawl for me (can't find a finished pic, but this gives you the idea)

A christening cardigan that was only a little bit late

The fronts and sleeves of a cardigan for a very dear friend that I really should have finished much sooner and that I really should see up so that I can post it to its rightful home along with a number of tardy thank you notes for all the kind things she has done for our family (must take a pic before I send that)

A pink cardigan for a little girl who likes star buttons

And most (but not quite all) of a very large blanket that should have been Baby Bird's birthday present but didn't quite make it off the needles in time. 

Written out like this, it is actually a far longer list than I expected. If you take account of the 17 balls of yarn that have been lovingly garter stitched into the second biggest log cabin blanket I've ever been involved in (maybe one day I will tell you about the biggest), that's actually quite a lot of knitting for someone who spent most of the year locked in 3 hour solo bedtime disasters and nursing an infant. 

When I first started writing this post, the birthday blanket was almost complete. I was on the fifth day of knitting the applied I-cord border.
Well, I do only get I do a couple hours a night and did I mention it is a BIG blanket?  That and my darling daughter undid about two foot of applied I-cord while I was making a cup of tea "because I wanted to do my own knitting for myself on my own". Yes, that will teach me to put things away properly.  I am hoping to finally finish it over the weekend. After all, she has promised that all her sleeping problems will be cured by her "wonderful new blankling". 

However, as the blanket is a bit big for carrying around and I retreated to a cafe for some R&R on Saturday afternoon after a car crash of a Friday at the end of a tough week, I'm broke my promise of knitting monogamy until the birthday blanket is done and cast on a jumper for the little man who is not nearly so little as he once was. I need to crack on if he's to get it before his birthday.  I needn't have worried too much about the broken promise. Yesterday morning, while I was cooking porridge, Baby Bird found the first four rows of ribbing and very carefully removed the needle and unravelled the whole lot, putting me right back to finishing her blanket before I start anything else.  On the plus side, watching the latest Star Trek movie (which I actually really enjoyed) gave me the opportunity to finally finish the birthday blanket!  Hurrah!

So now, it is on with the birthday jumper.  I'll just have to give him an IOU for his birthday blanket...  Poor second child. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

{this moment}

Joining in with {this moment} – A Friday [oops... Saturday] ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.
To see more, check out the comments to Soulemama

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


I had great plans of blogging more last week but by the time the kids are in bed and I've attempted to rescue the house I'm shattered.  I'm trying to go to bed a bit earlier, in the hopes that a bit more sleep will compensate for the broken nature of it. Mr Man still hasn't quite got the hang of sleeping through and so there's still a feed somewhere between 1 and 4 and Baby Bird is having, well I'm not sure really. Nightmares? Night terrors?  A fluctuating combination of the two?  Either way, her sleep is broken and consequently is ours.  As she often tells me in the wee small hours of the morning: "sleeping is a little bit tricky, Mama".

So, I'm too tired to write much.  That and the fact that I'm tantalisingly close to finishing the most mammoth blanket for Baby Bird so have been knitting when I do grab some quiet moments.  I'm almost half way round the applied I-cord border - not long to go now.  She has assured me a number of times through the four month making process that she will "definitely stay in her bed all night once she has her pretty blankling [sic]". Luckily for her I won't hold her to it.

Anyway, I'm a bit late with posting this, but I did take the picture at the right time. Here is a portrait of my children this week. Smiley, happy sibling affection for a change, rather than the bigger ones making the littler one cry by being just that little bit too rough...

 A moment to treasure so it's my {this moment} as well as my 52 project contribution again.  Really must stop cheating like this.

Monday, 6 January 2014


Well, in news that will have surprised noone but me, January 2013, just 6 weeks before I was due to have a baby, was not the best time to start a new blogging project, or a new project of any kind. So I mostly watched the very beautiful 52 Project from the sidelines.  However, I did take a lot of pictures and could, if I could find the time, certainly put together 52 photos of my lovely daughter transforming from tiny toddler into terrifyingly grown-up little girl and 46 photos of my adorable squishy pudding of a baby transforming from a tightly curled newborn into a crawling tornado of laughing destruction.

I still love the idea of this project and had a tremendous amount of fun tracking my friend Julia's highly successful efforts. She is an example to me in many ways, not least in persistence, commitment and cramming more than you think possible into each day.

So, I'm going to have another go.  And here is week 1.  A bit of a cheat probably because it is actually a series, but it turns out bubbles are hard to photograph, particularly with only an iPhone when it is only just getting light outside, and I also felt the series told the story more effectively than any single image.

 The anticipation, the movement, the look of "my sister is the funniest person on the planet". It all made this a perfect moment, occurring a little too early on the only Saturday morning of the year when my husband has to work at the office.  It's the main reason I was taking the pictures - because he misses out on many of these moments and it's nice to share our day when he returns home.

In a bit of shameless recycling, I'm also using this as my {this moment} for the week too. Late as well.  Tsk, tsk.  I know, must try harder.  Let's just focus on the fact that I've actually blogged something!