Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Skirt Making

Flopsy Bunny and I watched the Children in Need Sewing Bee program together on Iplayer the other day.  Afterwards Flopsy Bunny announced that she wanted to make a skirt - I love that about her, always very confident in her abilities.  We had a rummage through my material and came across some pink and white tulle which I had bought to make her a tulle tutu some time back.  I had planned on making two, but in the end I just made one for Flopsy Bunny's friend.  The tulle and accessorises were left waiting to be made up.

I decided that despite Flopsy Bunny's enthusiasm I would need to be heavily involved in the making of this skirt.  Flopsy Bunny watched and assisted and it got me thinking about what were the first sewing projects I had done as a child.  I felt like we needed a few basic skills first before heading to the sewing machine to make a skirt!  We've started on some patchwork which I'm hoping will be a good way of starting out on the sewing route.
Do you have any tips for good projects for children to sew? Especially those who want to be fashion designers when they grow up . . . !

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Grand Tour: Part 1

As a child I had always loved the idea of the Grand Tour.  My romantic notions were fed by Howards End , thoughts of young ladies, in pretty dresses, holding parasols; accompanied by maiden aunts touring the artistic and architectural delights of Europe.  So when DH suggested asking for a month's sabbatical from work, it seemed just the thing to do: a roadtrip!  As we had been to Italy for the last three holidays and visited most of France at one time or another a traditional 'Grand Tour' wasn't really on the cards.  We decided our roadtrip had to be to places we hadn't been to before or were unlikely to visit on our usual holidays.  Of course when we told people we were driving to Sweden, their response often involved a raised eyebrow - 'really?' they'd say, 'why?' would be their next question!

So that's what we did, we drove to Sweden, through northern Europe, camping and hoteling on the way.  Planning the trip was almost as good as doing the actual trip as we tried to decide our best route, what we wanted to see or do and how long it was going to take us to drive from one point to the other.

A quick nip under the Channel and we headed to Bruges as our first destination.  A beautiful city and one we'd always wanted to visit after seeing In Bruges - a very funny, black comedy, which was set in Bruges.   Ok a bit of an odd reason for visiting a city - but why not, it was lovely.

I loved the way they all decorated their bikes in Bruges!!

Next stop was just over the border into Germany, where we found a campsite near a volcano.  This was very important as Little Roo had been learning all about volcano's at school so was very excited that we were going to climb one.  Unfortunately it wasn't as dramatic as we had hoped as we had already driven up the side of the volcano and when we reached this area we realised we were at the top!  There was a lake in the middle. I think it would have looked more impressive from the air!
We did also get to go round a local ruined castle, which was very exciting for little boys who love knights and dragons - luckily there were no dragons at this castle!

We then had quite a long drive to the Harz Mountains.  DH had researched a bit about the Harz Mountains and discovered that they were where the Brothers Grimm based their fairy tales and I have to say there was a definite feel of enchantment in the area!  The towns were quite gothic and were decorated with witches every where you turned!!  The landscape was beautiful and the towns were also very pretty and quite German - if you get my drift!  We were quite an oddity in these parts, an English car in a very German part of Germany, we didn't see any other brits while we were there!
 A shop in Goslar
 Witches at the Brocken railway

We did make it up the Brocken mountain which was definitely worth a visit.  We went up by the stream train and walked down, which was by far the best way of doing it.
The other interesting thing about the Harz Mountains was the border between East and West Germany ran through them.  It was a good reminder of what the border would have meant to Germans, living either side.  It also gave us a good opportunity to talk about history with the little ones, although how much of it they understood was another matter!!

Monday, 13 October 2014

On my needles and nearly off my needles!

It's that time of year again when I'm in knitting mode.  I came back from holiday and spent an unhealthy amount of time on Ravelry looking at lots of lovely knitting projects and adding them to my already lengthy queue!  But I did come across a lovely project which I thought would be just right for a - dare I say it - Christmas present!  Eeekk yes the word is out!  But I'm now putting myself under lots of pressure to make three of them!  But the wool is so divine that I am going to enjoying doing a lot of pressurised knitting in the evenings!!
All this means that my summer wrap, which didn't get finished this summer and it looks like it won't get finished anytime soon will have to be worn next year instead!  I've basically finished the knitting part but I have to do what looks like a tricky graft which I've been putting off until I have a good couple of hours in one uninterrupted slot - hhhmmmm, difficult to find in our house!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A quick knitting update

There I was trying to tempt you back last month with more posts and updates on the happenings around here and then silence . . .  October is here so I thought I would show you the (little) knitting I've been doing since my last knitting post.  Yes there has been a bit of a theme to my knitting this year.  Did Chloe need a new wardrobe and a Labrador?  Probably not but they were fun to make and Flopsy Bunny is thrilled!

I am just about to finish another knitting project which has been slowly growing over the summer.  I've got to the tricky bit, I need to do a graft, which I'm not entirely sure how to do and so I need to devote a couple of quiet child free hours to sit and get it done.  Then I can show you what I will be wearing next summer on a chilly evening! 

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tempting you back with a Muffin . . .

When my little ones were babies, "Do you know the Muffin Man?" was one of the songs from my repertoire that I liked to sing to them.  There were others and some I made up, as you do as a mum, like the one about a giggly ganoe paddling a canoe, that one involved a lot of tickles!!!  So the Muffin Man song was a favourite of ours and guess what Muffins are too!!!

So when the planets seemed to align yesterday with Waitrose sending through a recipe for Blackberry Muffins at exactly the same time as I was about to tackle the rather large patch (es) of brambles we have in our rather neglected garden, it seemed like the only thing to do!  The kids were dispatched to find as many ripe blackberries they could find in the garden, without hurting themselves too much on the brambles and then we set about making the Muffins.  Flopsy Bunny had a friend over so there were four of us baking.  The thing about cooking with children is that you have to make sure everyone gets a go and it is fair so that nobody gets to do all the exciting parts - who would know sieving flour would be so contentious!!!  So they all chose an ingredient that they would do, the sugar had to be sieved as well, and we set to work, with me hovering trying to make sure the right ingredients in the right amounts went into the bowl.  I think we did a pretty good job!

Unfortunately I can't tell you what they taste like as Flopsy Bunny and Little Roo have divided the remaining muffins up, and they know EXACTLY how many they each have AND what colour the cases are - so there is no way I can have a crafty muffin while they are at school!!!  Which is probably just as well as they would definitely head straight for the 'muffin top' I seem to be developing after a summer of eating well and not doing very much  . . .!

I guess this is a round about way of saying I've been a bit absent from here this year.  I will do a post about why shortly and another one about our crazy summer holiday and another one on the ever growing pile of yarn I am stockpiling for the list of projects I am wanting to make!  But I just wanted to say I am back!  Please have a Muffin and I hope you'll drop by again as I promise there will be more posts coming!!!!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Monday, 10 March 2014

Knitting in minature

Meet Chloe, a new addition to our household.  She joined our happy throng on Flopsy Bunny's 8th Birthday - yes 8th!!  I still can't quite believe where the time has gone . . .!  What Flopsy Bunny wanted more than anything was a doll, so after a lot of research I found this lovely doll.  She was just want I was looking for, still quite girlish, not too big and she has the most wonderful vanilla smell and Flopsy Bunny loves her!!  The upside for me is that she obviously needs a whole new wardrobe.

Luckily Ravelry has a whole group dedicated to these Les Cheries dolls so there are lots and lots of outfits I can make!
This has to be my favourite so far, it is from Kids Tricots, the downside is the pattern is in French so I have spent a lot of time on Google translate and trying to figure out from the picture what I need to do!  Anyway, I'm very happy with the finished result!
Finally a little cardigan!  I've become a little bit obsessed but these little outfits are very quick to make and use up my leftover yarn.  All the pattern details can be found on my Ravelry page!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Crafty Sunday

This Sunday, Flopsy Bunny and I had a lovely quiet craft session.  Little Roo had taken himself off to bed for 40 winks and DH had popped out to run some errands.  The girls were left to their respective tasks.  Flopsy Bunny was trying out some decoupage, she was decorating a shoe box which was to become her new doll's wardrobe.  It was great fun and I had to stop myself joining in as it was her project!!  I did help with the tape round the edges and filling in a few of the gaps!

I had the task of creating a fox tail for the Roald Dhal day at school!!  Little Roo was going to go as the Fantastic Mr Fox, mainly as we had bought a foxes mask last year which meant it was an easy decision.  I just bought him some foxy coloured trousers to wear and a jacket - both of which will get lots of use after.  The fox tail was made out of some fur fabric and polyfil, I put a coat hanger in the middle so that I could shape it upwards a bit.  I added some loops to the top of the tail so that it could be attached to a belt.  I was quite pleased with the result and Little Roo was thrilled with his costume.
Of course while all this crafty foxiness was going on we just had to watch and listen to What Does the Fox Say?, adding a few new lyrics ourselves about foxes tails!!

Thursday, 6 February 2014


Ah I can't quite believe it is February already.  Christmas has flown by and started to become a distant memory.  January similarly zipped by and now in February I have emerged!!  A very belated Happy New Year to you all!!!

Carrying on from last year I've decided to have a word-of-the-year.  I have to say I had completely forgotten what my word was last year and was surprised to see I'd put Action!  I was quite pleased with it as a word but it did make me wonder how much Action I had done!!  A lot had got done last year, a lot of renovations but not much craft and not much blogging (sorry!).  So this year my word is Finishing!  This has to be the year of finishing things.  I have a very big project that I just have to get finished this year.  We are finishing off our house renovations - yes we are going to decorate our bedroom - hooray!!  But also I have to finish all the projects that I've bought material or wool for and not made - tsk, tsk!!!

So the first finished item of the year are some curtains for the front door.  I've never made curtains before, always felt a bit daunted by the huge amount of fabric and having to cut it and then worrying I might make a mistake and ruin the whole thing.  So this roll of fabric sat propped up on the wall next to the door it was intended for but that was as far as it got.  I wanted to get it done for Christmas and then the cold drafts started to nip my ankles as I walked past and I thought I just HAVE to do it!  So I dug out my faithful Readers Digest Sewing Manual and set to it - I mean how hard can it be?!

As it turns out - not that difficult!  The measuring and cutting was a pain but I did it and they are up and I have to say I am very pleased with the finished effect.

Especially as they go so well with my linen cupboard!  So on to the next project a bench cushion.  Yes I have the fabric, foam padding, piping, buttons and thread . . . Ok I've had them for quite some time now I just have to FINISH it!!