Sunday, 31 May 2009

A Quick Princess Update

Well, Wednesday the children, their friend Myah and I trooped off to Eureka! in Halifax, brilliant day and not too busy either. Thought it might be a nightmare as it's half term and the heavens had opened and it poured down all day!

Thursday they were all very tired so we had a day at home. I ironed and did loads and loads of laundry, it was so sunny, I had washed three machine fulls and got them dry by soon after lunch. Great! Until I had to unhang it and pile it all in the empty ironing basket :-(

I also managed to put together Francesca's chandelier;

It was very fiddly and took ages but it was worth it for the delight it brought her;

I had a cork notice board in the spare room and we had to take it down to paint so I gathered together some bits and pieces;

And came up with this;

I found a good photo of our wedding for her and some lovely pictures of the fat smiley baby she used to be, I made a knit-wit flower in very fine satin ribbon (a terrible faff but looks really rather good);

There are lots of lovely girlie pegs on the board so she can add photos and pictures and party invites etc.

Her bedroom is now complete with a net canopy over the bed, new bed clothes, pictures and pink fairy lights. Unfortunately as soon as she had spent her first night in there we had to then add Elizabeth in her Dr. Who bedding to the bottom bunk and many boxes of books and lots of other things so that we can make a start on painting Elizabeth's bedroom.

This time next week it will all be done and then we can go back to proper family time together at weekends and holiday time. No more painting for a while......

Daisie xxx

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

A Sunny Picnic

We have spent alot of the sunny weekend at home while we have been rearranging and decorating so that the girls will no longer have to share a bedroom with each other (hopefully there will be a pink princess room and a Dr.Who room soon). The children have played and picnicked in the garden (and fought on occassion) inbetween popping in to try on clothes I have found in boxes, some things that used to belong to Elizabeth for Fracesca and some hand-me-down parcels for Elizabeth. Having two big sisters means that Nathaniel has very few hand-me-downs from our family, but does well from friends. He did, however, get some spaceman, some dr.who, and some plane PJs that used to belong to Elizabeth. His favourite find so far has been the blue Miffy socks he found that I took off at bedtime and he insisted on putting back on!!

Today while some paint was drying we decided we should venture further than the back door for today's picnic so we gathered ourselves and headed out to Wycoller Country Park;

The sun was deceptive and the wind was quite chilly so we only sat for a little while to refuel;

Francesca was very pleased when she won control of the crisps;

And we were all very excited when this Mummy duck and her babies strolled past to say hello;

Nathaniel was especially taken with the 'ellow kwak kwak!

We walked through the willow sculptures and through a long tunnel;

We walked, carefully, over several very old stone bridges;

We stopped in the shelter of a cafe courtyard and Elizabeth asked me what this was, help please;

Tall pink flower didn't seem to be a good answer, I will hunt it out for her if no one can help.

We ate ice cream;

Then came home for more painting and sorting.

Eureka! tomorrow, very excited :-)

Daisie xxx

Saturday, 23 May 2009

A Birthday Elephant

Today Nathaniel went to a birthday party, he got a proper invite and everything, it was his first. His lovely friend Erin turned two in the week and we had a little celebratory get together at her home this afternoon with cake and pass the parcel.

I made Erin a smocked dress a while ago as a thank you to her Mum for some kindly donated buttons, Jenny really liked the dress but also liked the fact that I had taken the time to make something myself.

When they came to play the other week Erin was very taken with the elephant I made so on discovering a beautiful cotton print with daisies which came in three colourways at my local fabric mill I thought I should make a 'patchwork' elephant;

I really love the tail on this one, it is very fine ribbon doubled up and very carefully plaited (took me ages).

And becasue I had this yummy fabric in three colourways I thought it would be good to use to try out my Kitschy Coo pattern that I won in a giveaway on Amamda's blog a while ago. When the pattern arrived in the post I really thought it would look good with three coordinating fabrics, one for each of the pieces (sleeve, bodice and neckband). Amanda's instructions were brilliant and I didn't struggle at all and knocked the whole thing out in less than an hour, which included a cup of tea to re-read the instructions once everything was cut out and ready to go. I will definately be making more when little girl's birthdays start cropping up over the summer;

The photo's not too great but the top went down a treat, smiles all round and even more so when Erin realised it matched her elephant!!

Daisie xxx

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Don't Touch The Banana!!

Honestly, the excitement in my life knows no bounds!!

I had arranged to take my friend Caroline to buy some new ladies for her hen house, she keeps a beautiful array of laying chickens in her huge garden.

So off we went, with the help of her hubby's SATNAV because we always get lost when we go over to Miller's Farm in Preston! We got there, albeit with one or two 'recalculations' of the route :-) and Caroline chose her new ladies.

Then, once we had told the SATNAV we were going home (it was rather confused) we meandered around some very narrow winding roads en route back to the motorway. I commented that my clutch felt a bit spongey and that put an end to any driving ability my car had. It squeeled, it smelled, it refused to go. So we sat for a while and Nathaniel rather liked the car/van/bus/nee-nah spotting that went on while he munched a banana from my hand bag.

And then, like a knight in shining armour Colin the AA man arrived;

I put Nathaniel back into his car seat and got out to let Colin have a look, my boy was not impressed;

It couldn't be fixed. I could drive it (in theory) and Colin would follow us incase. I chickened out and let him tow us. I have never been towed before but the lovely Colin was kind and patient and told me exactly what to do; keep engine on (makes steering easier), don't put in gear, only lightly touch brake when Colin slowed down to show cars behind us we were slowing, indicate when he did and keep right behind him;

It is very starnge driving without your feet and I wanted to change gear everytime we slowed down or speeded up. Caroline had a plan and the mantra all the way back was "Don't touch the banana!";

It worked quite well until near the end of our journey when a blue flasher wanted to pass us and I panicked and got a handful of slimey banana skin!!

Here are Caroline's new ladies being inspected by the old timers;

They don't have names yet but am sure they will be very happy living with Caroline and her family.

A big thank you to the lovely Colin from the AA who rescued what must have seemed a very strange car filled with two mad women (sorry Caz but you are) and two rather smelly chickens and a small boy who insisted that Colin's van was a 'ellow nee-nah! Our knight in yellow, high vis armour!

Daisie xxx

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Are They Always Our Babies?

Francesca has been out of sorts for a couple of days and I had put it down to tiredness and possibly growing.

She came out of school this afternoon and burst into tears, she had a sore throat and a raging temp. Poor baby.

Elizabeth came out of school brandishing a letter explaining that it will be 'Go Bananas' day on friday at school and everyone has to wear yellow. Follwed far too closely by "can you make me something to wear?"

Time is short, it is wednesday already, Francesca is ill, I am supposed to be taking my friend Caroline out to buy some new ladies for her chicken house, boobie club and now this!

So we all piled into the car and went to the local fabric mill and asked "Do you have anything yellow?" The very bemused lady mananged to find the most offensive yellow polka dot fabric I have ever seen, the look on her face was not hopeful when she brought it out and she nearly fell over when I said I'd have some. We also bought some more shirring elastic and some pink cotton for a project I am planning for Francesca's new room and some really yummy white cotton covered in little strawberries to make Francesca a dress and matching hat (well, I had to do something to appear less like the worst mother in the world).

No Simon tonight and everyone is tired, it being the middle of the week, so while I ironed and pinned, squinting (having failed to bring my sun glasses in from the car) the children ate chicken and chips on the sofa watching the telly! That's the social onto me again. Can't remember the last time we didn't eat at the table, hardly ever happens, am not such a slummy mummy really!!

Francesca gave up half way through and just nursed a warm blackcurrant and when I looked again she was asleep;

At 5.15!! She must be really poorly and really pooped!

I continued to sew for a little while while Nathaniel and Elizabeth played together and then she said, in best big-sisterly fashion that he was tired and should they both go and brush their teeth? Jolly good idea I thought so I tidied round while they faffed in the bathroom (I hate to think the bad habits she will teach him). Then once they were safely on my bed, Elizabteh reading stories, I roused Francesca and carried her (good job she's so skinny and I have such great muscle tone) upstairs and sat her on the toilet. I had to kneel in front of her so she could still rest her sleepy head on me while she weed. She hasn't done this since she was 2 and I used to lift her out of bed to wee when I was on my way to bed to avoid wet sheets. I carried her to her room and undressed her and put on some cosy pyjamas, I snuggled her down and lay next to her while she sucked her thumb and gently stroked me with her other hand until she was deeply asleep again.

Sometimes because she is so tall and clever and bright and 'grown-up' (and has attitude learned from her big sister and only-child mates) I forget that she is still my baby and although I don't want her to be ill it is so nice when she needs me;

Back to sewing, here are some smocked dresses I rustled up this afternoon for the fair;

And here is Elizabeth in her almost-there yellow top, which doesn't look nearly as bad as I had imagined;

The conversation when I got the camera out went like this;

E: You can't take a picture of me wearing it over my pyjamas, I will look like a freak!

Me: Elizabeth, you always look like a freak!

Hence the expression, and for those of you who have not had the pleasure of Elizabeth in the flesh, that is the real Elizabeth!!

Daisie xxx

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A Shopping Trip

Simon needed a new suit. He always wears a shirt and tie but not always a suit, this is reserved for open events where he has to meet the public, when interviewing new members of staff and new students and getting married (please note he has only done this once). He has been wearing the suit he bought to be married in (about four years ago) but sadly had a mishap yesterday on the way home from work and the trousers had a big hole, not the look he was going for really. He needed a suit for tonight so time was of the essence.

We hot footed it across to the clearance mill nearby, bit posh really and not a place we would usually shop.

Simon has always had huge shoulders which has made buying jackets a nightmare and after an hour or so of this it all became too much for Nathaniel and he fell asleep in the trolley. Shame I couldn't fit in there too really;

Simon ended up with a beautiufl charcoal grey wool suit from Odermark, a German company. Three pairs of shoes, yes you did read that right, three pairs! Shoes are like buses with Simon you wait years for him to buy some new ones and then he goes mad and buys three!!!!!!!!! Two new ties and a beautiful blue tone Harris Tweed Jacket;

He does love a tweed jacket and I don't think he has ever owned a new one. They were greatly reduced and he spent ages deciding on which colour to buy. He really rather liked the green toned ones but we both agreed (eventually) that this was the best option and could be worn with most of the items in his 'work' wardrobe.

I thought he was going to kiss the guy at the tills when he asked if Simon would like the hanger to go with his jacket, we said YES!!

I think it's only right when spending so much money on a beautiful piece of tayloring that you should get the amazing hanger with it!!

I am secretly hoping that I make a shed load of money at the next couple of fairs and I can go and buy him the green one (even though it won't go with much), what are the odds?!

He looked lovely disappearing off this morning in his new shoes and tie and suit with his new hair cut, I marched him to the barbers, he had begun to look a little like a tramp in a suit as his regular lady is away on holiday :-(

He is a far cry from the motorcycling young guy in the leather jeans with big ex-army boots and leather choker and studded wrist bands that I fell in love with fifteen years ago. But at night when he comes home and takes off the suit, the tattoos are still there and the bike is safely in the garage and he will always be the bloke I fell in love with!

A dull post, sorry, but I have had a lovely time today with my two favourite men in the whole world and wanted to share.

Daisie xxx

Monday, 18 May 2009

Sex And The Pinny

Today I have been making pinnies and talking about sex!

Pinnies first. Whilst shopping this morning some pastel tea towels just jumped into my arms (I have been admiring them for an age and resisting but today they were marked down in price). I chopped and pinned and sewed and ended up with two little girls pinnies and four yummy mummy pinnies. No pictures of the bigger ones but this one Francesca really likes;

They look really rather good and I have said that if it comes home from the next fair unsold then she can have it!

Talking about sex. At the children's centre where we do boobie club and baby yoga and other exciting things a course started this week called speakeasy. It is aimed at enabling parents and carers of young children to discuss sex in a suitable way. I am not shy but don't always know when to stop when answering questions from the girls. I want to answer them well but feel sometimes we can give our children more information than is necessary. Some parents just don't give enough information or tell lies (really gets my back up but it'll keep for another time).

Today was brilliant, everyone giggled, not just me, it was very interesting to see who knew what and just what people didn't know, it seems I may not have led such a sheltered life after all! We get lots of free books to help us complete our porfolio of work and information and at the end of it we get a qualification worth three credits from the Open College (about a GCSE's worth) that is recognised by the Family Planning Association. Rather pleased with that, another feather in my bow for when all my babies are at school and I can go and hunt for gainful employment again!

The ice breaker was brilliant and had everyone near to tears with mirth and I urge you all to try it (and maybe share in the comments?). Write down "I HATE" and follow it with a household chore then write "BECAUSE" and say why you hate that particular chore. Now score out the chore and replace with the word "SEX". Mine said "I HATE SEX BECAUSE THERE ARE ALWAYS ODD ONES LEFT OVER" one woman hated sex becasue of the dust, one becasue she was bad at it, one because it was boring and one becasue of all the smears!

Can you guess what my chore was?!

Daisie xxx

Saturday, 16 May 2009

We Have A Bed!!

It arrived on Wednesday afternoon and I made Simon put it together when he came home from work (even though he had been working late) and then couldn't stop giggling when we got in (not what he had in mind me thinks). The excitement and luxury of being in a proper bed after sooo long on the futon in the spare room and to be surrounded by our beautiful new bedroom was just too much! I have slept amazingly well and feel really refreshed :-)

Here is the little beauty;

I do have a pic of Simon and all the children piled into it yesterday morning but there is adult male nipple and I didn't want to embarrass anyone!

And just to show how much I love him and the brilliant things he does for us all I made him pickled onions. Ugh! I would personally rather eat my own vomit (although why my own and not someone elses, which would surely be as vile is beyond me) than consume a pickled onion. The smell alone makes me want to stick my head in the toilet! So I spent ages peeling millions of little onions and boiling vinegar with many spices and chillis within. My house smelt horrible. I then decanted everything (after straining and cooling and such like) into these rather fancy air tight jars I bought especially;

In around eight weeks (or as long as he can bear to keep his hands off them) the smell will be released and I will have the pleasure (not) of listening to him crunch away. I did suggest that I just buy him some from the shops but he says homemamde is soooo much better. This is how much I love this man!

Daisie xxx

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

A Very Special Day

I would like you all to think really positive thoughts today. Remember my friend Julie, well today she is getting some new stem cells and we're all keeping our fingers crossed that it all goes well and that she recovers quickly and can come home for a big cuddle!!

And in other exciting news; my new bed is being delivered today!!

Daisie xxx

Monday, 11 May 2009

A Tidy Stash :-)

Today I is been mostly folding and sorting and falling in love all over again with each and every piece of fabric in my collection. There are some pieces that are going to new homes though. Pieces that I have had for a long time and have not made use of, seems silly to keep hold of them for another year and still not use them and shhhh, Simon might be listening, I will make room for new things. Cunning or what?!

I had planned on filling one side of one wall with my fabrics and sewing box and machine (I need to make it a new cover any good tutes out there?), I did quite well with the yarn and now have one big box to keep and a carrier bag that is going to be shared around and recycled. But the fabric was harder, I spilled over onto another shelf, do you think anyone will notice?

Here are my luverly upholstery fabrics great for bags and cushions and doorstops;

On the left here are very light cottons, perfect for children's projects and on the right my plain fabrics for linings (and boring people);

My nice clean empty shelves looked a little scruffy when filled (read crammed) with all my stuff so I knocked up a couple of end curtain type thingies, gotta love sticky velcro, so when you open the door, this is what you see;

Clean and crisp and airy, at least now I won't be ditracted by all the loveliness when I am working at my desk so should stay on task. She says, this is almost an impossibility and has never happened before!!

Apologies again for lots of stash pictures but be warned there will be more!

Daisie xxx

Sunday, 10 May 2009

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday I had architraved doors and light switches that made lights work;

Beautiful bedside lamps (no bed yet but for those of you that know the story already I'll not keep banging on and for those of you that don't life is too short);

A fabulous snowy white brick chimney breast;

And a big embroidered main lamp and brand new, made-to-measure pine blinds;

Today I have a fully kitted out cupboard/walk-in-wardrobe/stash space;

My laundry now has somewhere to go when it has been lovingly washed and pressed, no more hanging around on doors!! My fabric stash can be unpacked and sorted and stored where I can see/smell/stroke it on a daily basis.

I have a seperate shelf space for all my paper crafting stuff;

And a new home for my sewing machine and ideas books;

Please be prepared for the next few days as I am sure I will bore you silly with pictures of my space filling up and all the lovelies I'll find that I haven't seen in such a long time.

It has been a long joureny from this to this to this but oh, it was sooooo worth it!

Daisie xxx

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Ellie And Friends

Thanks to the very kind donation of a book from my friend Jenny* I have made this rather cute little elephant, Ellie (well, what else could you call an elephant?);

I have been meaning to make one for ages and have a few odd bits of fabric left overs saved with making some for presents in mind. I managed to make one today as I promised a copy of the pattern to Vonnie as she was going to spend stupid money on a pattern for an elephant. Anyhoo, while Simon was doing a copy for her I made him do one for me too (along with an owl, a mouse and a dinosaur). The pattern in the book was small and you would have to copy the pattern onto larger squared paper and to be honest life is just too short!

I am very pleased with her and Francesca is in love;

I expect there to be many more elephants around here soon, if I can get the feet right (not entirely happy with these ones) I may make some for the carft fair too.

And here are my beautiful girls modelling a hat order that I finished this afternoon ready for delivery on monday;

I love these hats. They are great to make (even if I swear at the brim, everytime) and look wonderful ironed or scruched up and in any fabric. I keep meaning to make all my scraps into a huge piece of patchwork to make some hats out of, they would be very cute indeed.

Daisie xxx

* Jenny, sorry there has not been a return delivery for the books yet but am still awaiting some measurements!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A Boy Project?

Firstly have a quick look at these beauties that were given to me by the lovely Jenny at playgroup on Tuesday, mmmmm;

Now the other day when I went on a mammoth spending spree with my friend Gil I bought some fabric with a boy project in mind.

Well, it ended up being a boy project;

And a unisex project;

And a decidedly girlie project also;

Quite pleased with what I managed out of a seven pound piece of fabric and some plain cotton t-shirts! There are also the coloured circles left and the cream circles with coloured borders that were interspersed with the picture circles. I am thinking that I may cut some flowers from scraps left over from bag and hat making and sew those to the circles and then put them onto t-shirts too? If the weather is fine at the next fair (so we'll be outside and not in) I have been promised to have my stall between two trees so I can rig up a washing line to hang them from! I have been looking for a child size dummy/mannequin and will have to sell a kidney (or an awful lot of t-shirts) if I'd like to own one :-( But this afternoon at Boobie Club (yes, we have moved day and time, just to confuse people, mainly me) I discovered the dolls used for baby massage training and they are yummy. Soft bodied, about the size of an 18month old, there are different skin tones too. I am hoping I will be allowed to borrow at least one (maybe two) to dress in my t-shirts or dresses and sit them at either end of my stall. The children, of course, will be head to toe Daisie Davies too!

Anyway, I best get back to sewing the labels into the t-shirts and tie off all the ends!

Daisie xxx