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Archive for August, 2009

…to discover that she is 10 months old today!

10 month 1

Apparently 10 months old is the perfect age to do a bit of exploring…

10 month 3

…and a bit of dandelion hunting!

10 month 2

Time to start planning a party!

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As you may have guessed from the title, it’s not been the best of Summers weather wise! However, yesterday when the Bean woke from her nap we had about an hour and a half before her tea and it wasn’t raining (for a change) so we decided to go and see the sea (well why not?).

Beach 1  Beach 2

As you can, it wasn’t exactly sunny (pretty windy actually) but we had a lovely time regardless.  

Bean 1    Bean 2

The Bean loved the view from her super new pushchair (but would really have preferred to have been eating the pebbles).

The Bean’s first beach milestone was reached in July, with her first paddle! 

First Paddle

The water was bloomin’ freezing but the Bean didn’t seem to mind and happily kicked her feet about whilst mine went blue. I’d had the unusual forethought to collect some pebbles and decided I’d better do something with them before I forgot why I’d dragged them home…

Take some assorted pebbles…

Pebbles

Some supplies…

Supplies

And put the two together! Brilliant! What a great idea to make yet more things to have to keep out of Bean’s reach.

The end result! 

As you can see, this is a straightforward craft but one that’s really effective and would look good as place names or wedding favours (for those with patience and a steady hand). If you want to make these yourself (how could you not?!?) make sure to use a solvent ink pad like the excellent StazOn (or ‘Stinky Ink’ as I like to call it) (which may explain my short lived career in advertising) as well as clean pebbles, else it’ll not just be the inky that’s stinky… : )

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Fab Fab Fab-ric!

I love getting parcels through the post, especially ones that look like this…

How exciting!

A little peek at the goodness inside… 

A little peek...

Fabulous material from Michael Miller Fabrics!

Retro rocket rascals

Aren’t they cute! They are ‘Retro Rocket Rascals’ and ‘Bunny Travel’. I love them both but I think I love the bunnies just that little bit more… Here’s a little close up…did you see the Bunny in the top right corner wearing a baseball cap? So cute! 

Close up

Michael Miller Fabrics also do an amazing range called ‘Bot Camp’ – featuring some very cool robots indeed (however, i’ll have to wait for my next birthday before I get another parcel like the one above).

ooh, another one

I have a fat quarter of the Rascals and 1 metre of  the Bunnies. I’m going to make a cushion cover from the Rascals but I haven’t quite decided what to do with the Bunnies yet. I have a little wicker storage unit which I am going to paint up for Bean’s room, so maybe I’ll use a small bit to upholster the top but what to do with all the rest?… Mmm, the possibilities… :)

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 *For those of you poor souls not familiar with the works of The Fraggles, get thee to a DVD store now!

So, as you may (or may not) be able to discern from the title I (1) love The Fraggles and (2) love to knit. I can’t remember when I first learnt to knit. I have memories of when I was about six making yards and yards (or so it seemed) of French knitting (now fancily called I-cord (copying I-pods perhaps?)) but the earliest knitting I remember was for a project in school for textiles class (along with my incredibly talented friend over at Berry Crafts – go and say hello via the blogroll). Either way it was my ever patient Mum who had the ‘lucky’ job of teaching me.

I’ve been knitting on and off over the years, rarely progressing past the incredibly-long-scarf-stage, scarves that would invariably roll up when you put them on. Wearing one was, I would imagine, not dissimilar to being attacked by a rather drunken snake. I know lots of very talented knitters who knit things that are actually useful (some of my creations over the years wouldn’t be given houseroom by William Morris under either of his criteria) however I knit for relaxation and by definition this means I don’t want a project I have to concentrate on. I like to sit and watch the TV or read a book and pay no attention to my knitting, (hence the excessively long scarves). About 5 years ago, having finally run out of scarf-storage-space and being introduced to circular needles by my Mum I decided to knit a blanket. As you do.

My rather crumpled blanket

It’s huge. It took longer than a scarf. But I love it.

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We are lucky enough to live, not only in a beautiful part of the world but in a beautiful old cottage. It’s a bit like the Bean, small but perfectly formed (well, a bit more storage space would be good but I guess everyone could do with that), it suits us to the ground. I love that none of the walls are straight and that when you are sat in the garden it feels like you could be anywhere in the world. That said, if I could change something about the house, I would probably make it a bit lighter in some of the rooms, especially the second bedroom which only has a tiny window.

With this in mind, I decided that for my first(!) project on my stained glass course I would make a window which could go in the wall between the second bedroom and the hallway. Thankfully I had gone on the course with my Dad as I think the course instructor would have got rather frustrated with all my squeaks of fear (and triumph!) as I learned how to score and break the glass with bare hands! Dad was able to show me how to make my window at the same time as constructing one of his own. The window was completed without (major) incident and merrily sat at Mum and Dad’s house for about a year. When I learned (to my utter delight!) that I was expecting and that the second bedroom would soon be needed as a nursery, Dad installed the window – which left me the much dreaded task of putting putty in it. Ugh.  

Yup, this was messy

*Sadly this is one of the better photo’s of me…lets just say the camera is not my friend*…(neither, I have to say, is putty).

I think the end result was worth it. : )

The window

As you can see Bean loves how her stained glass window brightens up her room (she’s pretty smart for a near 10 month old).

Bean's room

Still a bit of work to do on the hall side…but that’s a job for another day :)

Still work to do

(Yep, i’m sure you’ve noticed how the Star Trek poster fits perfectly in our built-in-the-1830’s-cottage)

In case you were wondering (how could you not have been?!?), this is Dad’s window, which perfectly suits their 1930’s built home.

Dad's window

(If this alone doesn’t demonstrate the difference in our skill levels, Dad had to fit his window to a specific space, whereas I just guessed roughly and Dad cut the hole to the right size…simples)

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Well hello there! I thought since this was a craft blog, it would be a good idea to post some more crafty pictures! I love trying out different crafts (with wildly varying degrees of success) and one of the ones that I enjoyed the most is Stained Glass (well, technically ‘Leaded Lights’ but no one seems to know what that is). A couple of years ago my Dad and I learned it at an evening class (well, I learned it – Dad knew most of it already). I haven’t been able to do much since, as I didn’t want to use lead whilst pregnant and since having the Bean it’s been hard to find the time. Hopefully when she is a bit older I’ll have the time to do it again as it’s really good fun getting to snap glass!

Here’s a close up of one of the framed pictures I made as a gift:

Stained glass  Stained glass 2

and some of the angels I made…

Stained glass angel 2   Stained glass angel

I like the blue angel the best, partly because it was the first one I made and partly because I feel a bit sorry for it. The stripes, whilst decorative, are also necessary as after I copper foiled the glass I managed to drop it so I had to do a bit of first aid and apply some bandages. The poor thing still wobbles a bit when you pick it up… Ever the consummate crafts woman…

Anyway, i’m off to make a ‘poorly michael’…that should keep you wondering…(!)

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For the past few years I have dreamed of an entirely handmade Christmas…i.e. all presents handmade by me, wrapped in handstamped brown paper, with matching parcel tags neatly attached. All arranged under a beautiful tree covered in lovingly crafted decorations and the house looking like something out of a magazine. Guess how many times that has happened? If you guessed 1, congratulations – you are only off by 1. Last year, for Bean’s FIRST christmas we didn’t even have a tree up. Our new-parent exhaustion was coupled with the poor little Bean having some sort of bug and being sick numerous times a day for over a week, over the Christmas period. To be honest, we just didn’t have the energy, although we did make sure to have a picture of the Bean next to her Granny’s tree – so at least that can go in the album later on. I did manage to make some gifts but not as many as i’d have liked.

This year, well, I have the Christmas list all written and I’d say about 75% of the gifts will (in theory) be handmade (I’m trying to be realistic)(If I was managing to be realistic, it would probably be about 50%). 

If not entirely handmade, one of the presents for the little Bean will be this wooden doll’s cot that I found at a car boot sale.

Doll cot

It cost the princely sum of £1.50! One of the reasons I love car boot sales (flea markets, charity shops, jumble sales, antique fairs…)  is that you never know what you are going to find. This chance find a couple of months ago has entirely shaped my idea of what we are going to give the Bean. The wooden frame needs re-gluing and re-varnishing (which my very kind Dad offered to do) and I have washed the quilt, pillow and matching sheet. To go with the cot Bean will also have a rag doll, which thinking about it, I actually bought from Sainsbury’s for £3.99 (not doing very well on the handmade front for poor Bean!). I am also going to make some new sheets and blankets for the cot so the doll can have new bed covers every once in a while (plus they will be super easy to make and increase the handmade count).

To get fully into the Christmas mindset, we went for a boiling hot walk to a local Daymarker (like a lighthouse but about 50% less useful). Despite the rough terrain Bean’s smart new pushchair coped admirably, as did Tim when pushing her up the massive hill!

The Daymarker   The view    The view, too

A perfect afternoon. Just the thing to get you in the mood for Christmas crafting!

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