Climbing out of a grungy hole

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I've been a bit poorly, with nothing more dramatic than a cold. Just a really nasty gunky, painful, sicky now coughy head cold. Probably not a surprise, the last few months have been low on items of genuine note but high on crapola. The bad backs, endlessly poorly children, lovely Kiwi nearly breaking a shoulder and being rendered almost prostrate with it…bleurghh, grrr, harrumph etc. We're all a bit a run-down. But still! Having to stay indoors has at least meant I've got some sewing done and I'm really pleased to have finished this quilt, which I started back in August. I thought I'd get it finished quite quickly but then ended up picking it apart and starting again half-way through as the original idea just wasn't working. So now it's finished and I hope it's intended recipient enjoys snuggling under it! I'm particularly happy with the pieced backing, not something I normally do, but as this is a commission (thanks Mum!) I didn't want to have to buy a few more yards of fabric to add to the cost.
 
Here's some piccies with apologies for the dreadful murky light, I think good photo light may have deserted these shores for the next few months. Hope you're all enjoying the snow.
 
Thanks for reading,
Helenx

Sick days

This morning Barbary Boy announced he was far too poorly to go to school, and given that Miss Marmoset has continued to battle with a cough and asthma for the last couple of weeks I gave him the benefit of the doubt and called him in sick to school. Cue an immediate Lazarus-like recovery and a whole day to fill with one (admittedly slightly pale and peaky looking) but increasingly bored 5 year-old.
What to do? I decided to be brave and ignore the telly…at least for a bit, as a sop to my conscience if nothing else, and headed out to the recycling box in the shed. It might seem an unlikely source of inspiration but both the monkeys fell in love with making 'rubbish rockets' in the summer months. I present them with the cardboard recycling box, some scotch tape with dispenser and some not too sharp scissors and voila, a source of occupation whilst I weed. This time I was more ambitious – we went for castle building instead. With fire on, carpet picnic, and the Shrek 2 soundtrack playing BB saved the princess from the dreadful dragon 3 times. We never did establish the Were-rabbit's place in the narrative, but when Miss Marmoset came in from nursery she pleaded for her own pink castle and swiped her princess back. BB decided his was the boys Castle of Doom and princesses had no place in it. So as you can see MM has her pink castle complete with pink silk moat (we'd run out boxes to make circling walls), King Tickle and his Queen (clearly a love that admits of no impediments) and their Princess daughter about to take a dip in the moat. It kept them occupied for, oooh, a while at least and that's all I feel I can ask of masking tape and rubbish really.
 
Thanks for reading,
Helenx

Sunday night snippet:so near yet so far…

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Barbary Boy has taken to getting himself dressed every morning, which at 5 you might think was about time too. However this can lead to pandemonium on school mornings when he has to be hustled out of Spongebob t-shirts and into school uniform. Weekends we let it all hang out though…within reason, as you can see from the picture below we're nearly, almost there, but I love the expression which clearly says, 'I'm rocking this inside-out jeans thing, you are far too old to understand'. Have a suspicion that if we roll things forward ten years, inside-out jeans as a look will seem the height of sartorial elegance.
 
Thanks for reading.
Helenx

Miss Marmoset gets a skirt.

You've probably gathered by now that quilts are my sewing passion. I love the process, the design, the fabric choosing, the cutting (mostly), piecing, backing, quilting and binding. As you can see by that list however it is quite a long process and sometimes I need to see something come together quickly. A morning's work rather than a couple of months of heaving out a quilt and clearing the table when the monkeys are asleep.
Clothes aren't usually my thing. They're tricky, very tricky, and although I have had a go at making a nightie before, I've never tried to make anything that my children might wear out of the house. That being said, I bought this book a while ago and there are quite a few projects in it that I'm keen to have a crack at. This gypsy skirt (below) being one of them. I think it would've been better to use a different fabric than the denim I bought to make bags out of (no sniggering at the back – I'm a beginner). It hasn't exactly made the skirt drape very well. In fact it's really quite sticky-outy in a mini-crini sort of way that fortunately Miss Marmoset is still young enough to think that all skirts should be. Miss M was allowed to choose the fabric for the yo-yo flowers from my scraps bag. Unsurprisingly she chose pink but I think it lifts the black denim a bit and she's touchingly thrilled with it. So much so that I think I should try again with some different fabric, what do you think, maybe a nice lightweight corduroy?
 
Thanks for reading,
Helenx

Why do holidays never go as planned?

I'm sure we're not alone in this. You look forward to a break from the routine, no school, no nursery, no 'brush your teeth/hair – with the appropriate brushes' mornings. No, just relaxed starts to the day planning what fun we might have. My wonderful parents had even booked a cabin at Center Parcs for the four of us plus my brother and his lovely (and very pregnant) partner. I had been assured that the Kiwi and I would have a really good break if we were prepared to let the other four adults takeover for a bit. Sounds marvellous doesn't it? I had visions of gentle swims, strolls in the woods and someone else answering the monkeys baby questions. Miss Marmoset is baffled by how the baby got into Auntie Julie's tummy, Barbary Boy more concerned by how it will get out. I haven't prepared answers for these kind of questions yet, so I was hoping somebody else had.
 
Anyhow, both the monkeys came down with a very nasty flu bug a few days before we were due to leave, and although they had rallied tolerably well by the time we left (see what to a spur to health it is when children are promised less time spent with their parents?!) they were still a bit sickly by the time of our arrival. Center Parcs is well worth a trip if you have children, there is so much for them to do. Even the wildlife pottering up to the patio doors for snacks is entertainment. Both the children perked up a lot after arrival and we assumed that they were feeling much better, enough even for Barbary Boy to go swimming. Sadly by 11.30 that night Barbary Boy had woken up screaming with pain, which is completely out of character, by midnight we'd made the decision to take him to A&E in Bury St Edmunds. By the time of our arrival he'd perked up enormously and was enjoying his adventure, making Kiwi and I think we'd been totally had. The incredibly sweet (and young, when did the doctors start looking so young?) doctor assured us though that he could definitely see an ear infection and that in his opinion the ear drum had perforated and drained whilst in the car, accounting for the pain and subsequent joy in young Barbary. Ouch! A course of antibiotics was prescribed and young BB was soon back to himself. Aren't children amazing? They rally so fast, but really it would be great to go away and not have this sort of thing happen. Still we did have a good holiday, thanks mainly to the company and the really well chosen location. One trip to A&E? That's a good holiday in our estimation. Getting through only one bottle of Calpol is an excellent holiday, requiring no medical assistance or medication? That's other people's holidays…still, maybe one day!
 
Thanks again to Mum, Dad, David and Julie for a lovely break, hope we didn't rain on your parade too much.
 
Thanks for reading.
Helenx