Friday, March 21, 2008

Mini mascottes

These are just sooo easy to make - perfect if you haven't got much time but want to make something that you can finish too!
The pattern is from here, each mascotte only uses about 8 yards of yarn and you can do one in half an hour. I prefer the colours she's used but I haven't really got much yarn in primary colours - may get my mum to bring some of her remnants over.
You can use them on a keyring, put a pin behind them and use as a brooch, or, as I. is doing, just as cuddly toys. She says she's collecting them - looks like I'll be making them all!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Never a dull moment here: after suffering with stomach-ache for a few weeks I thought maybe it was time to get it checked out. So I took myself off to the GP on Monday who sent me off for some blood tests and rang back on Tuesday to say she thinks it may be a stomach ulcer. Never thought that these would be so painful! I associate stomach ulcers with smoking, drinking, bad diet and no exercise. None of which apply to me. Thankfully they've recently found that most of them are caused by a bacteria, not stress - which could apply to me! Anyway, I'm now on tablets for a month, work's been fairly quiet this week and today is the first day I'm not in so much pain - it's been no fun lying folded double over the keyboard...

I think maybe a holiday is in order. At least there's a long weekend coming up, and next week on Friday I'm off with the kids and mum and dad to Lyme Regis for a week. I've just booked the hire car and am getting slowly excited...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sewing for Pleasure

This is a bit of a misnomer for this show. There are lots of things to see but not necessarily all that I would categorise under sewing... Anyway, a few years ago I visited this show several times, but the last time I went, I found it all a bit the samey and hadn't been since then. However, I. is into crafts, she's slowly taking an interest in learning to knit/sew, so I thought it'd be a nice day out together. It helped that they had an exhibition of the costumes from Strictly Come Dancing and some knitting thing to do with Shaun the Sheep - both of which I knew she'd enjoy. When we were driving to Birmingham yesterday morning, I suddenly got a bit worried she'd be bored after half an hour, but I needn't have worried - she loved it all. We spent the first hour just looking at the different stalls, although we ended up at mostly the ones she wanted to look at rather than the ones I would have looked at had I been on my own. I didn't mind too much though, as I don't have much time for creativity anyway and can do without spending anything right now. I gave her a bit of spending money so she wouldn't have to wait for me to say 'yes you can buy that', which she thoroughly enjoyed and even spent fairly wisely. At lunchtime we stopped off at the fashion show. I'd not been to one before but it was really good - they used students from a fashion college as models and were modelling a range of clothes sewn from standard patterns, knitwear and the students' own creations. It lasted 45 minutes and I thought she'd get bored with it, but she didn't - it helped that the final scene was 'An explosion in pink'!
After lunch and a bit more of a walkaround we popped into Hobbycrafts next door which I thought beforehand she might enjoy more than Sewing for Pleasure, but she didn't at all - neither did I for that matter. After a brief visit there she really wanted to go back to Sewing for Pleasure, but we hadn't had our hands stamped, it was getting on for time and I couldn't be bothered to explain at the entrance that yes, we had tickets and no we hadn't been stamped... So we went home after that, especially as it was another 2 hour drive back home.

We both really enjoyed it though and are both keen on going again next year. Which is lovely, as it was great spending some time on my own with my girl, who's getting far more grown-up than I had realised...

Will leave you with some photos of the dancing costumes and the knitted gingerbread house!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

And so to bed

When I first met B. three years ago, he had already started building his house. I remember being very excited about meeting someone who was really building his own house, and on our second date he brought over the plans for the house to show me, and the third time we met I actually got to see it for myself. The outside walls were up to about eye height - I remember him putting in the lintels over the doorways.
Little did I realise how long a project it would be. We have had a few holidays but on the whole he has worked on this house most evenings after work and pretty much every weekend. So many deadlines have come and gone and the house has changed character so many times. I've seen the walls go up, the roof put on, the windows go in, the water, electricity and heating switched on. I've given my opinion on ideas, have printed off photos of features I've liked, have also helped out on occasion. Anybody who turns up, gets roped in: 'could you just pass me that widget please?' 'which widget is that?' 'the one with the red handle... no that's a screwdriver, no, that's too big, no let me have a look - there, that's what a widget is'. At times it has seemed relentless and endless.

Not this weekend though. Yesterday we cleared a path through the furniture from his old house in one of the barns and got out his bed and mattress. His son and a friend helped to move everything over to the house and get it upstairs, and we hoovered it, got some nice new bedding and put it all together. And although his daughter had already slept in her room a few times, last night we opened a bottle of bubbly and took it to bed, and slept in the new house for the first time.

I fell asleep cuddled up thinking 'every single nail, every single screw, every brushstroke has been done by B.'s hands'. When I told him this morning, he said 'that's a scary thought - what if it all falls down?'. That's typical of him - he doesn't want to hear how clever he is, and if you do tell him, he shrugs his shoulders and says anyone could do it. But he is the one who actually did it. The house isn't finished yet - there is still quite a lot of work to do (in fact, he's building the doors for the kitchen cupboards as I'm typing this). But now that we've actually used it for sleeping in, and had breakfast in bed, that work doesn't seem quite so insurmountable anymore.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Home Sweet Home

The mortgage application was approved yesterday, after some hassle from the bank about my freelance income. So now I'm officially part of the world of rising interest rates, life policies and critical illness insurances.
(yes I know I've done it all once before but there's a big difference in having two incomes supporting a mortgage and being the only person responsible for it all - hence the critical illness insurance...)

Snowed under with work and very little time to knit, sew or write.