Saturday, 24 July 2010

Ta very much Margaret

I'm a day over our due date today, trying not to think about it too much. Babies come out when they are ready and we wouldn't want that any other way really. So I'd best catch you up on this weeks activities, which contrary to everyones advice hasn't been sitting and doing nowt.

I've been making some bright orange curtains for the nursery. We found it impossible to find some fabric which was a strong enough shade without being too terracotta or sienna. In the end we managed to find a large bedspread in the Habitat sale which was self patterned with a check effect and was just the perfect shade for what we needed.
On Wednesday I finally got around to starting on the curtains, I'd been slightly putting it off as it was a bit of a mammoth job as they are full length and the fabric is pretty thick. The kitchen table became my workshop for the next two days (don't you just love kitchen tables for that).
Joey was on hand to help by making a nest in the fabric as I tried to feed it through my machine, as you can see there's not much wrong with him now these days.

Only trouble was half way through I ran out of orange thread. Now this wouldn't have normally been a problem on any other sewing project, as despite living int' country and not having the car that day I could have just waited untl the next day to buy some but given that I am in the grasps of a nesting process the curtains simply 'had' to be finished that day.
Then I remembered Margarets tin of bobbins, could there possibly be a similar shade in there which I could use? It was worth a look, despite the cotton being about the brightest orange available to man (not exactly a shade conjucive to Margarets wardrobe)
So I managed to locate the tin amongst my hoards of fabrics and haberdashery. I couldn't believe my luck, there it was the exact shade and brand I'd been stitching with, Sylko- Flame!

Sold to Margaret, then sat in a tin to eventually make my day some thirty years later. The curtains are now finished (yet to be hung) and I can't thank Margaret enough for her help.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Building nests in drawers.

As I've been getting tired quite early my stints at our Wednesday night crafting gathering, Knit Natter Stitch and Chatter, have been a little irregular of late. This week I managed to make it and worked on a small sewing project of adding vintage motifs to some newly washed baby grows

I'm really pleased with the results, simple yet distinctive with a hint of nostalgia. Best of all is I can re-use the motifs when the grows have been outgrown. I just need to keep my eyes peeled for some more nice motifs.

Having washed all the clothes I felt that putting them in the new chest of drawers might make them smell a bit of old wood, losing their line dried lovelyness. I considered getting some drawer liners but was certain they are fragranced with nasty chemicals which whilst our skin can handle such exposure wrinkly new new skin wouldn't. So instead I bought a wallpaper batchend from Laura Ashley and some loose lavender. Mum helped with this last bit of nesting by cutting the paper to size and lined the drawers whilst I sat at the sewing machine and ran up some lavender bags in various sizes. Lavender has a lovely soothing quality in aromatherapy so aswell as making baby clothes and bedding smell lovely it will have a relaxing and calming effect.

Here's the clothes all neatly folded and socks paired, ready to have our baby in them. I doubt these drawers will look quite so neat and tidy once the baby arrives.

There's only five days to go until our due date and I feel so ready to be a mum, not just because of all these jobs getting done but the mental preperation that's been taking place whilst completing them. I can see how nesting is a very valid process and not just a bizarre impulse. It's important to trust your insticts and if something needs doing then do it, no matter how trivial it may seem, because chances are it's that time to think and reflect which is what's called for rather than the actual task itself.

Crocheted kindness

These are pictures of the beautiful crochet baby blanket our friend Sharon has made for our wee one's arrival. It's folded in quarters in the left hand one so is ample big enough for wrapping round baby or laying in the cot.
You may remember I chose the colours a while back when Sharon very kindly offered to put her skills to use for us. The results are amazing, I'm sure you'll agree she is a very talented crafter. Neat neat work done with such love and care, this is certainly the stuff of family heirlooms. We were very touched to receive such a special gift. Thank you Sharon.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Antique shopping in the GB aisles

On Monday I went to this really cool antiques place in Lancaster called GB Antiques, you pay £1.50 to look round the most massive of junk/antique shops and it's divided up into loads of unmanned stalls. People sell their stuff through them, kind of like a huge agency. It's really good and is full of all sorts of strange stuff.

I had to remain pretty focused as I had furniture to find. Namely two chests of drawers; one for the nursery which needed to be suitable for changing on and one for our bedroom which needed to be made from dark wood. However I did stop to take pictures of some of their wares.

Like these strange ceramic creatures, I'm not sure which one is weirdest but I know collectively positioned at head height they made a terrifying sight.

There was a great old radio/record player. I love the way the dial has got specific regions on it each next to a dot, like they are the names of planets and this is some map of the radio solar system.

There was a brilliant stall of old kitchen stuff too, there was everything you need to deck out your whole kitchen in vintage. It was all very neatly organised.

This massive tapestry of Henry VIII will have taken someone a long time to complete. They must have been really into the tudors!

I was mulling over this great 1960's Make your Own Soft Toys book. I wish I'd bought it now, just for the comedy value of some of the toys. Check out the bandy legs on this unlikely pair!

This set of old mahogany office filing drawers made me imagine how nice it must have been being a secretary in the 1950's, filing papers away in such lovely furniture. Much nicer than the noisy metal ones which our dull office spaces are filled with these days.

Right at the back I found the chest for the nursery, in need of a little TLC but all in all a good solid purchase to last us through the years. It had the perfect 'Waltons meets Moomins' look about it. I also managed to find a nice chest for our bedroom too.

And so the nursery gets one step closer to completion!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Recycling and spin cycling.

Since finishing work I've been such a busy bee, perhaps a bit too busy. So yesterday and today I've taken things a bit easier, nesting rather than dam building.

Mum had hung onto two double cotton duvet covers which had become so thin with washing that they where seperating at the seams, perfectly soft for baby bedding. In addition to these over the last few weeks Myrtle had been quite naughty and managed to rip up three bed sheets in a rage at being left on her own (one time for just 30 minutes) So yesterday mum and I set to transforming the stacks of white cotton into cot sheets and carry cot sheets. Mum measured and cut whilst I hemmed on the machine.

We managed to make six cot sheets (hemmed in purple) and five smaller carry cot sheets (hemmed in green). I thought it'd be useful to be able to look in the linen cupboard and see what fitted what by colour coding the stitching.

The scraps that are left over I plan to hem up (in bright pink) into cotton squares for feeding, burping etc. All mums say 'you can never have enough cotton squares!'. I haven't worked out how much money it's saved us but it's certainly saved some landfill.

I've also been busy getting all the baby clothes washed in non bio and line dried in anticipation of a tiny warm yummy smelling body going in them in just two weeks time. Aparently drying clothes in sunlight kills off bacteria, which is why they smell so good no doubt.

Just look at these socks, they are so small.

To think there's a pair of teeny tiny wrinkly little unused feet wriggling inside me right now which are going to wear those socks very soo.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Likes peas in a pod.

I've made our baby it's first homemade toy. A pea pod from felt. It's really tactile and he/she will be able to poke his/her fingers inbetween each of the peas. Lovely.

I want to make sure he/she doesn't grow up with any weird vegetable phobias so I figured introducing vegetables and fruit in a fun way via toys/patterns/colours and stories will help them feel excited rather than aprehensive when presented with something new to eat after just having milk for the first few months of their life.
I made it at a monthly craft club some of us Knit Natterers went to called Wool & Stuff. They showed us how to make really neat tight felt balls from fleece which are really versatile. Next I want to make a carrot, so I'm stitching the carrot top, funny how that's the nickname for people with red hair but a carrot top is actually green.

I'm only 16 days off the due date, my maternity leave started last Thursday and I don't think I've really stopped since then. Everyone says 'rest up' and 'relax' but I'm so excited/scared/behind on craft and DIY projects I just can't sit and do nothing.
We are hoping to have the nursery finished this weekend, yes that's right it's not finished yet!! So I'll show you what we've done.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The last of Marge.

My dad visited the other weekend to put a new radiator in the nursery, we're gradually replacing them throughout the house with nice contemporary versions of those big old fashioned ones which really belt out the heat.
Anyway he brought with him some final bits of sewing stuff from Margarets flat which were all in this lovely box. How posh.

A very good selection of tapestry wools.

These two beautiful rolls of trim. I think the wider one would look great on a bag or dress. I wonder what Margaret  used them on?

That pretty much completes her sewing biography.Thanks again Margaret for sharing your collection x

Not even a shower

So last Sunday despite being absolutely pooped from our fantastic party we bid an early morning farewell to Jill and Michael and headed off to Old Trafford to watch England V Australia in a One Day International in the midst of a heatwave, we couldn't have had better weather.
It was my first ever live sporting event and I'm so glad we managed to go before the baby is born, we had planned to see a football match last season as Mr B's home town Burnley had made it into the Premiership but as my morning sickness lasted until February that didn't ever happen.
I'll sumarise the game, which I am not familier with. Australia were first to bat and managed 212 runs by lunch time (they don't actually run back and forth that many times, they get different amounts depending on how far they hit it)

I think I missed almost every wicket (someone getting knocked out) due to things like crowd distractions, stretching my legs, looking at someones pie and taking a photo of Mr B (as shown below)

Anyway they replay them on a big screen so you can get the best of both worlds. Sometimes I clapped at the wrong time too. Although I was pleasantly struck by the fact that good play on the part of the oponant is acknowledged by the crowd. Mr B said the fans are alot less vitriolic than those at football matches.

England then took an excrutiating three and a bit hours in the hottest sun to beat them, managing it on their final batsman! It was nail bittingly close and I really loved every minute of it, though I did need to take an hours break from our seats due to the sun getting unbearably hot around 4pm. The whole place was upstanding and cheered for our boys. It was great!!

It's a shame that we didn't do as well in the football. Needless to say the pubs giant flag had been taken down within an hour of the game finishing.

Not just a shower.

After what seems like a social calender blackout for some months now, I have to report that I had the most exciting, lovely and tiring time in a long while last weekend.
My very good friend Jill organised and threw us a baby shower to send us off into the world of parenthood with the full backing of those we love most. We were a little nervous about it as showers are a fairly new thing over here but I think well worth it, why should such a monumental event go unmarked for the parents to be. I had lots of people asking 'what happens?' 'what do we do?' but I left them all in Jills capable hands.
It was quite simply a brilliant event, as all Jills events are. She really is the 'hostess with the mostest' and so many of our guests commented to me what a fantastic time they'd had.

It was great to see such a mix of people, I'd sent Jill the guest list a few weeks back knowing quite a few people on it didn't know each other but took the view 'well it's about time they did' and what better way to get to know each other than at a party! So often people tailor guests lists to the imagination of what it'll be like rather than chucking everyone in the mix and thinking 'if they are all friends of ours then they will all get on'.

The decorations were all in citrus colours which is funny because that ties in with our nursery. Jill and her helpers made tissue pom poms and bunting to adorn the new kitchen creating the perfect 'ohh ahh' effect.

The spread (Lancashire saying for food) was beyond belief and featured the very best of savoury and sweet. Mr B was pleased to see a 'proper' salad.

Louies Grandmas 'Cut it and Come Again' cake and her Raspberry Fluff cakes went down a treat on the pudding table.

We played 'Guess the Baby' and I won a packet of hankercheifs.

We also played Bingo, I got House and won a plastic duck and two small zoo animals. Jill sent everyone home with a jar of special tea from London to say thank you for coming, what a lovely thought.

All in all it was splendid day and it was so nice to see everyone before our lives change forever. Everyone had contributed some advice/anecdotes/quotes to a book for Mr B and I. They were all really good and made us smile. I'll leave you with our very good friend Michaels contribution.


Related Posts with Thumbnails