Friday, 22 May 2009


I've been "tagged" by Amanda from KitschyCoo (just the coolest kids' clothes around) and so I have to fill in these lists of eight things and then tag another eight bloggers. I'll happily do the list, but I don't really read that many blogs, so I'm afraid I won't be passing it on. Here goes:

Eight things I am looking forward to.....

1. Having the children at home for half-term next week.

2. The children going back to school after half-term (see – I’m thinking ahead).

3. Thai take-away from the van for supper tonight.

4. The philadelphus (mock orange) on the drive coming into bloom. The most divine smell on earth. First bud spotted today.

5. Going to the Heathfield show tomorrow. Pigs and tractors. Yay! (such a country girl).

6. A dry summer (ha!)

7. My lovely friend Penelope coming to stay in July. I miss her and her beautiful family.

8. Going to see Joseph with my family next Saturday. Reminds me of driving to family holidays in the 70s – no car stereo, just three girls singing the entire musical from the back seat… our parents must have loved it….

Eight things I did yesterday...

1. Made a pitiful attempt to clear up my sewing stuff.

2. Started making a mobile version of my traffic jam bunting.

3. Pretended that using a foot pump to pump up car tyres and bike tyres was as good as a work-out. Yeah, right.

4. Ordered 40 bags of horse manure for the garden.

5. Queued with the children for delicious ice-cream at our village’s new sweet shop. Proper strawberry ice-cream that tasted of strawberries. Yum!

6. Spent two hours trying to find a babysitter.

7. Went to the Charlston Festival to see David Lodge speak. Felt very young compared to most of the audience. I’m not a great fan, to be honest, but it was good to do something cultural.

8. Got lost on the way to and the way back from Charlston, but it was such a beautiful evening – East Sussex lanes and the Downs at their best – that it didn’t matter. Must get a new map that WORKS! (or practice map reading).

Eight things I wish I could do....

1. Be tidy (or at least tidier). What I wouldn’t give to have Mary Poppins’ finger-clicking skills.

2. Control my hair. I think my sisters & I keep Frizz-Ease in business in this country. Any other recommendations?

3. Raise one eyebrow. My younger sister can do this brilliantly. She is a barrister and uses her eyebrow lifting to very good effect, I am told. I am very jealous and have spent years practicing, but it’s no good. I just can’t do it.

4. Recognise different birdsong. I think I’m a bit dyslexic about this. Currently cuckoo, owl and pheasant are about my limit.

5. Somehow clone each of my children so that they can continue to grow, but I could also have them stay just as they are right now, aged 2, 5 and 8.

6. Learn to live by the maxim “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” I am a terrible prevaricator.

7. Successfully persuade my children that not EVERYONE needs a Nintendo Wii, Playstation, PSP or whatever the current favourite is. This is a losing battle, I know.

8. Have lunch like this every day – eggs Benedict made with bantams eggs.

Eight shows I watch....

1. Seinfeld. Probably the best sitcom EVER made.

2. Eastenders. What a terrible admission. Sorry.

3. Location, location, location. Middle class property porn.

4. ER

5. Desperate Housewives.

Er… that’s it. Does radio count?

6. The Archers

7. Woman’s Hour

8. Open Book

Sunday, 17 May 2009


I've never really been one for hand sewing: too fiddly, too many knots to tie, never sure if I can see better close up with or without my specs. However, I had an idea in my head last week - you know, the sort of idea which makes your fingers itch to get started in case the idea floats away before you've captured it. And you know what? I think I love hand stitching.

This week I went to visit three of my friends' new babies and deliver the mobiles I've been making (see here) so I thought I'd like to make a little something for the older siblings to make them feel special too and so it wasn't all about the babies (even though it was really!).

It started off with a little friend of mine who had her 4th birthday last week. I wanted to give her something she would love, I knew it had to be pink and shoes are a bit of a theme with me at the moment (more on that later). I'm pleased now that I've been hoarding all those tiny offcuts of fabric and felt:

I'm really pleased with how this has turned out. I love how the tiny seed beads mimic the cut-out pattern of Startrite shoes. I made another of these (but with turquoise shoes) for the sister of one of the babies but knew I needed something for the boys too. And show me a three-year-old boy who doesn't like tractors:

I'll be making more of these soon (definitely a space rocket one) but first I need to invest in a thimble. Ouch.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

The traffic these days....

Look at all the vehicles I've been cutting out today, queueing up to be made into bunting and mobiles. Now think about all the button wheels I have to sew on...... toot, toot!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Boy meets bluebells

I grew up in an area renowned for its bluebell woods so for me this is a special time of year. That nature can produce such intensity of colour and scent takes me by surprise every bluebell season. We love to walk in bluebell woods in the late afternoon when the flowers seem to glow in the dimming light.

This year our Little Helper noticed them for the first time. He's already showing some of his Daddy's love of wildflowers (lots of daisies and dandelions proffered in his grubby chubby fists) but witnessing his first awareness of bluebells was a special moment.